At D’Arcy & Co, Solicitors, Kildare we are committed to offering you an efficient and caring service in relation to Family Law.

Common issues in brief

Does alimony exist in Irish law?

The term is not commonly used in Ireland. However, financial support of one spouse by the other does arise in Ireland. The term that is used is maintenance. The most common type of maintenance that is paid is for children and this will arise in most separations. However, separate from that there is also the possibility of maintenance that is payable to support the other spouse.

This will depend on the circumstances. For example, it is more likely to arise in a long marriage and where the spouse who is seeking maintenance is middle-aged or is older than in a shorter marriage where the spouse seeking maintenance is younger.

In a divorce involving maintenance for a spouse, the parties will often deal with the issue be agreeing a lump sum or property adjustment instead of weekly or monthly payments.

Rights of Cohabitants to apply for Maintenance and Property Adjustment Orders

Since 2010, where someone lives with someone else for more than 5 years (2 if they have a child together) that person can generally apply to court for maintenance, pension adjustment and property adjustment orders and for orders in relation to the estate of the other person. The success of the application will depend on the circumstances and needs of the people involved.

People can make an agreement that these rules will not apply subject to that agreement meeting certain requirements.


A child has a right to be receive maintenance from their parents. The amount of maintenance that is to be paid will depend upon the income of the parents and their needs and those of the child and other dependents.

Maintenance can sometimes be agreed between the parties. However, it is often the case that agreement cannot be reached and a Court application is necessary. it is sometimes the case that in the context of a maintenance application agreement can be reached prior to hearing and if that is the case such an agreement should be put into court. This will have the effect of making it a rule of court.

Clear practical advice

We are here to guide you through the process and to work to find practical solutions.

Our team has the skills to negotiate agreements and, if needed, bring matters to court.


Please contact Evelyn McMahon on or on (045) 530 807