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Maintenance Complaint Process

There is a common misperception that maintenance issues only come into play when filing for divorce. However, this is not the case – maintenance can be applied for independent of any considerations of divorce.

Under Section 69 of the Women’s Charter, maintenance can be applied:
  • for your child from the other parent, if he or she neglects or refuses to provide your child with reasonable maintenance;
  • for yourself from your husband, if you are a married woman whose husband neglects or refuses to provide you with reasonable maintenance; or
  • for yourself from your parent, if you are over 21 and you are still a full-time NSman or student.
The Court can also make maintenance orders for a wife and children in pending divorce proceedings under Part X of the Women's Charter, or as part of final orders in the ancillary matters in the divorce proceedings.

You can also file a complaint if your spouse fails to comply with an existing maintenance order. This is when there has been an order of the Court for your spouse to pay certain amounts of maintenance to you, but he has failed to do so, being in breach of the Court order.

Here is a broad overview of the steps you need to take to apply for a maintenance complaint:
  • Apply for maintenance or enforce existing maintenance order
  • Service of summons
  • Service date
  • Court mention
  • Open court hearing
  • Trial proceedings
  • Appeals

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