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Child Maintenance reform in Ireland: Lessons from  abroad

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-08, 08:14 authored by KATHRYN O'SULLIVANKATHRYN O'SULLIVAN

Continuing to vest the judiciary with very wide discretion to determine maintenance issues on a case-by-case basis, the child maintenance system applied in Ireland is now an outlier in the common law world. However, while there are currently few judicially-developed or legislatively-established principles or guidelines to direct the exercise of this discretion – much less any formulae or tables – reform may be on the horizon. With this in mind, this article considers the legal framework for child maintenance in Ireland before drawing on recent empirical studies to highlight the challenges in practice. It places the spotlight on the mounting calls for the adoption of a more predictable and consistent formula-based approach to the quantification of child maintenance and investigates five key issues which would have to be addressed in devising any such reform.



Child and Family Law Quarterly, 2022, 34 (1), pp. 41-60


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