Family Law (Maintenance of Spouses and Children) Act 1976

Discharge, variation and termination of maintenance order.

6

6. (1) The Court may—

( a) discharge a maintenance order at any time after one year from the making thereof, on the application of the maintenance debtor, where it appears to the Court that, having regard to the maintenance debtor’s record of payments pursuant to the order and to the other circumstances of the case, the persons for whose support it provides will not be prejudiced by the discharge thereof, or

( b) discharge or vary a maintenance order at any time, on the application of either party, if it thinks it proper to do so having regard to any circumstances not existing when the order was made F27 [ (including the conduct of each of the spouses, if that conduct is such that in the opinion of the Court it would in all the circumstances be repugnant to justice to disregard it) ] or, if it has been varied, when it was last varied, or to any evidence not available to that party when the maintenance order was made or, if it has been varied, when it was last varied.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in subsection (1) of this section, the Court shall, on application to it under that subsection, discharge that part of a maintenance order which provides for the support of a maintenance creditor where it appears to it that the maintenance creditor, being the spouse of the maintenance debtor, has deserted and continues to desert the maintenance debtor F28 [ unless, having regard to all the circumstances (including the conduct of the other spouse), the Court is of opinion that it would be repugnant to justice to do so. ]

(3) F29 [ Subject to subsection (3A) of this section, that part of a maintenance order ] which provides for the support of a dependent child shall stand discharged when the child ceases to be a dependent child F30 [ ] by reason of his attainment of the age of F31 [ 18 ] years or F31 [ 23 ] years, as the case may be, and shall be discharged by the Court, on application to it under subsection (1) of this section, if it is satisfied that the child has for any reason ceased to be a dependent child F32 [ for the purposes of the order ].

F33 [ (3A) A maintenance order made under section 5B or 5C of this Act shall stand discharged when the person for whose benefit the order was made attains the age of 18 years. ]

(4) F34 [ ]

(5) Desertion F35 [ by, or conduct of, ] a spouse shall not be a ground for discharging or varying any part of a maintenance order that provides for the support of dependent children of the family.

Annotations:

Amendments:

F27

Inserted (19.10.1989) by Judicial Separation and Family Law Reform Act 1989 (6/1989), s. 38(3)(a), commenced as per s. 46(2).

F28

Inserted (19.10.1989) by Judicial Separation and Family Law Reform Act 1989 (6/1989), s. 38(3)(b), commenced as per s. 46(2).

F29

Substituted (18.01.2016) by Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 (9/2015), s. 74(a), S.I. No. 12 of 2016.

F30

Deleted (14.06.1988) by Status of Children Act 1987 (26/1987), s. 19(a), commenced as per s. 1(2)(b).

F31

Substituted (1.08.1996) by Family Law Act 1995 (26/1995), s. 43(b), S.I. No. 46 of 1996.

F32

Substituted (14.06.1988) by Status of Children Act 1987 (26/1987), s. 19(b), commenced as per s. 1(2)(b).

F33

Inserted (18.01.2016) by Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 (9/2015), s. 74(b), S.I. No. 12 of 2016.

F34

Deleted (19.10.1989) by Judicial Separation and Family Law Reform Act 1989 (6/1989), s. 38(3)(c), commenced as per s. 46(2).

F35

Substituted (19.10.1989) by Judicial Separation and Family Law Reform Act 1989 (6/1989), s. 38(3)(d), commenced as per s. 46(2).

Modifications (not altering text):

C27

Application of section extended (27.03.1996) by Domestic Violence Act 1996 (1/1996), s. 9, commenced as per s. 25(1).

Hearing of applications under various Acts together.

9.—(1) Where an application is made to the court for an order under this Act, the court may, on application to it in the same proceedings and without the institution of proceedings under the Act concerned, if it appears to the court to be proper to do so, make one or more of the orders referred to in subsection (2).

(2) The provisions to which subsection (1) relates are as follows, that is to say:

...

(b) an order under section 5, 5A, 6, 7 or 21A of the Family Law (Maintenance of Spouses and Children) Act, 1976 (as amended by the Status of Children Act, 1987);

...

C28

Application of section extended (14.06.1988) by Status of Children Act 1987 (26/1987), s. 24(1), commenced as per s. 1(2)(b).

Amendment of Defence Act, 1954.

24.—(1) The reference in section 98 (1)(d) of the Defence Act, 1954, to an order made by a civil court under section 3, 6 or 7 of the Illegitimate Children (Affiliation Orders) Act, 1930, shall be construed as a reference to an order under section 5A, 6, 7 or 21A of the Act of 1976 (as amended by this Part) or an order under section 8A (inserted by this Part) of the Act of 1976 (in so far as it is deemed under that section to be a maintenance order).

...

Editorial Notes:

E13

Previous affecting provision: power of court to discharge order made under section provided (19.10.1989) by Judicial Separation and Family Law Act 1989 (6/1989), s. 39, commenced as per s. 46(2); repealed (1.08.1996) by Family Law Act 1995 (26/1995), s. 3(1) and sch., S.I. No. 46 of 1996, subject to transitional provisions in s. 3(2).