Reviewing maintenance payments
Your personal circumstances may change over time. These changes can have positive or negative effects on your ability to pay maintenance. For example, you may lose a job or get promoted to a better paid one. You may decide to remarry. In some cases, the death of a spouse or partner may occur.
These and other changes in circumstances may affect the terms of your maintenance order.
This means you can have the maintenance payments you pay or receive reviewed by a judge at any time.
Payments can be varied
To vary a payment means having the amount increased or decreased.
This can happen when your financial circumstances change after a maintenance order has been issued. It can also happen when you produce financial evidence that was not available when the order was made.
You can ask a judge to vary the amount of maintenance paid or received. If the judge decides to vary the amount, a Variation Order will be granted.
If you want to vary a Circuit Court order, you apply to the Circuit Court using Notice of Motion and Grounding Affidavit documents.
Payments can be discharged
Where circumstances have changed, you can apply to discharge a maintenance order to end your obligation to pay maintenance.
In some situations, your obligation to pay will end automatically. For example:
- where you're paying child maintenance and a dependent child reaches 18 years of age
- where you're paying child maintenance and the dependent child who is still in full-time education reaches 23 years of age
Appealing a judge's decision
You may appeal a judge's decision about a maintenance order. You can do this by appealing to a court higher than the one in which the order was made. For example:
- If the order was made in the District Court, you appeal to the Circuit Court. You must appeal within fourteen days of the court order being made.
- If the order was made in the Circuit Court, you appeal to the High Court. You must appeal within ten days of the court order being made.
You might want to seek legal advice regarding your appeal.