Status of Children Act 1987

Maintenance order (provision for certain dependent children).

18

18.The Act of 1976 is hereby amended by the insertion after section 5 of the following section:

“5A.— (1) Subject to subsection (3) of this section, where, in respect of a dependent child whose parents are not married to each other, it appears to the Court on application to it by either parent of the child that the other parent has failed to provide such maintenance for the child as is proper in the circumstances, the Court may make an order (in this Act referred to as a maintenance order) that the other parent make to the applicant parent periodical payments, for the support of the child as aforesaid, for such period during the lifetime of the applicant parent, of such amount and at such times, as the Court may consider proper.

(2) Subject to subsections (3) and (4) of this section, where in respect of a dependent child whose parents are not married to each other it appears to the Court, on application to it by any person other than a parent, that a parent of the child (not being a child who is being fully maintained by the other parent) has failed to provide such maintenance for the child as is proper in the circumstances, the Court may make an order (in this Act referred to as a maintenance order) that the parent make to that person periodical payments for the support of the child for such period during the lifetime of that person, of such amount and at such times as the Court may consider proper.

(3) The Court, in deciding whether to make a maintenance order under this section and, if it decides to do so, in determining the amount of any payment, shall have regard to all the circumstances of the case and, in particular, to the following matters—

( a) the income, earning capacity (if any), property and other financial resources of—

(i) each parent,

(ii) the dependent child in respect of whom the order is sought, and

(iii) any other dependent children of either parent,

including income or benefits to which either parent, the dependent child as aforesaid or such other dependent children are entitled by or under statute, and

( b) the financial and other responsibilities of each parent towards—

(i) a spouse,

(ii) the dependent child in respect of whom the order is sought, and

(iii) any other dependent children of either parent,

and the needs of any dependent child as aforesaid or of any such other dependent children, including the need for care and attention.

(4) The Court shall not make a maintenance order under subsection (2) of this section in relation to a parent of a dependent child if a maintenance order under subsection (1) of this section requiring that parent to make periodical payments for the support of the child is in force or that parent has made provision for the child by an agreement under which, at or after the time of the hearing of the application for the order under the said subsection (2), payments fall to be made and in relation to which an order under section 8A of this Act has been made unless—

( a) the parent is not complying with the order under the said subsection (1) or the agreement, as the case may be, and

( b) the Court, having regard to all the circumstances, thinks it proper to do so,

but, if the Court makes the order under the said subsection (2), any amounts falling due for payment under the order under the said subsection (1) or the agreement, as the case may be, on or after the date of the making of the order under the said subsection (2) shall not be payable.”.