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Do I have to pay child support for my children or maintenance for my spouse?

Both parents are responsible for the financial support of their children until each child reaches the age of 18 or until completion of the school year in which the child turns 18. Child support can be paid as the parents agree or the Child Support Agency can collect it from the other parent.

The Child Support laws are complex. If you wish to know what amount is payable, you may contact the Child Support Agency or speak to a Solicitor who practices in this area.

In relation to spousal maintenance, each spouse is expected to try to support himself or herself after separation. Maintenance may be payable if one spouse is unable to meet their own needs and the other spouse has the capacity to assist.

Common examples are a spouse having the care of young children or a spouse being unable to work because of a physical disability while the other spouse has a high income and an ability to pay maintenance.

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