A maintenance order can be applied for to obtain financial support for you and your children. In order to get a maintenance order you must prove that your spouse/partner has not been giving you enough money to support you and your children. Both you and your spouse/partner will be asked to give evidence about your incomes. You do not have to be living apart and you do not have to be intending to separate. The judge will then make an order of maintenance.
If your partner fails to pay your maintenance, the court can make an Attachment of Earnings which means that the money due to you will be paid by your spouse/partners employer straight out of their earnings. If your spouse/partner is unemployed, it is important that you apply for maintenance. This maintenance order, even if it is a nil maintenance order, is vital when you apply for social welfare.
If your maintenance is not paid, go to your community welfare officer at you local health Centre. Also, bring along your maintenance order with you.
You should always inform the courts if your order has been broken.