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maintenance order

A court order providing for payment of sums for the maintenance of a spouse or child. Strictly speaking the term now applies only to *maintenance agreements incorporated into a court order; orders in the magistratesí courts or High Court on the ground of *failure to maintain and orders in the divorce courts for maintenance are now called *financial provision orders.

Spouses may try to evade their financial obligations to each other or their children by emigrating. Spouses may try to evade their financial obligations to each other or their children by emigrating. In such cases the Domestic Proceedings and Magistratesí Courts Act 1978 and the Maintenance Orders (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act 1972 grant powers to obtain maintenance from emigrant spouses in certain designated ('convention') countries. For these purposes maintenance orders include any order providing for periodical payments to a person whom the payer is liable to maintain, including *affiliation orders.

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