Who and by Whom
Contrary to popular usage and general understanding, the Maintenance Act, Cap. 180 of the Laws of Grenada (the Act) (which might be found on gov.gd), is not only to ensure that children are maintained.
The Act creates the obligation for “dependants” to be maintained. The following are the persons considered to be “dependants” and the persons responsible for maintaining those dependants:
- (a) Dependant: children (born in or out of wedlock) under age 16, or over age 16, who suffer under a mental or physical disability rendering them unable to maintain themselves, or up to age 18 where still enrolled in full-time educational institution
(b) Who must maintain: father, mother and stepfather (where stepfather married the mother while children are under age 16, and including where mother dies before children turn age 16)
- (a) Dependant: wife
(b) Who must maintain: husband
- (a) Dependant: husband
(b) Who must maintain: wife
- (a) Dependant: father or mother, who by reason of old age, mental or physical disability is unable to maintain himself/herself
(b) Who must maintain: children
What sums can a Maintenance Order include
A maintenance order can extend beyond the simple cost of everyday living. It can extend to:
- Reasonable expenses related to the birth of a child, but to be applied for within 2 months of the birth of the child; and
- Reasonable expenses related to the death of the individual for whom maintenance could be ordered, ie., child, including stepchild, spouse or parent.
Who can apply for a Maintenance Order
- Father or mother of a child;
- Lawfully appointed guardian of a child;
- Legally appointed guardian of a mentally incapable parent (has to be understood as implied by ordinary principles of law although not spelt out in the Act); and
- In the case of death, the Commissioner of Police or whomever else is responsible for maintaining destitute persons (in the current governmental construct, presumable the ministry with responsibility for Social Welfare).
Grenada Bar Association