Maintenance is the regular payment of financial support to a spouse or ex-spouse in financial support of the living expenses of dependent children and/or the spouse. Spousal maintenance would be payable where the financially dependent spouse does not have the resources to support themselves, in many cases because they do not work outside the home or work part time outside the home. Child support or child maintenance is paid to the spouse who looks after the children on a day to day basis to provide for their financial needs. Special payments of lump sums for certain circumstances can also be provided for.
If an unmarried couple separate, an application can be made to the Court for provisions about the maintenance of children and if they qualify as cohabitants, a dependant cohabitee can apply for maintenance.
A dependent child is one who is under the age of eighteen years or between the ages of eighteen and twenty-three years and attending full-time education.
When determining the financial needs of the parties the Court will look to all the circumstances of the parties.