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Maintenance but now unemployed

I was in a good job, paying €800 per month child support to my ex-wife for two children. I lost my job and now am unemployed but still paying €450 per month and she is not happy. She is threatening legal action. Does she have a case? Thanks. Mick.

Hi Mick.  The procedure depends on whether or not you are paying simply by agreement or by a court order.

 

Maintenance can be frequently fixed by application to the court and it can only be varied by order of the court – you should apply immediately for a variation order / renew of maintenance, and you will be entitled to a hearing on the basis of what your income is less your reasonable outgoings. 

 

In relation to maintenance payments, even well after the agreement is drawn up and put in place, the terms are not written in stone.  If either party to the agreement has substantial changes in their financial circumstances they can apply to have these varied. 

 

My advice to you, Mick, is that you should be the one to take legal action if an order for court exists because you must follow the terms of the court order until it is varied.  Otherwise you may be liable to arrest if the arrangements are made a Rule of Court. 

 

You should get immediate specialist family law advice or go to the Legal Aid board for advice and representation.

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