Maintenance orders
5.—(1)  The Tribunal may make a maintenance order if it considers that it is just and equitable that the respondent should maintain the applicant and that —
(a)the respondent is able to provide maintenance to the applicant after his own requirements and those of his spouse and his children have been supplied; and
(b)the applicant is unable, in spite of efforts on his part, to maintain himself through work or from his property or from any other source.
(2)  When ordering maintenance for the benefit of an applicant, the Tribunal shall have regard to all the circumstances of the case including (but not limited to) the following matters:
(a)the financial needs of the applicant, taking into account reasonable expenses for housing and medical costs;
(b)the income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources of the applicant and the manner in which an applicant has spent his savings or dissipated his financial resources;
(c)any physical or mental disability of the applicant;
(d)the income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources of the respondent;
(e)the expenses incurred by the respondent in supporting his spouse or children;
(f)the contributions and provisions, whether financial or otherwise, which the respondent has made for the maintenance of the applicant.
(2A)  Without prejudice to the Tribunal’s powers under the Act, the President or a deputy President of the Tribunal may, with the consent of the applicant and the respondent, make a maintenance order reflecting the terms of any agreement reached between the parties in respect of a claim, and such order shall be deemed to be a maintenance order made by the Tribunal under this Act and enforceable in accordance with its terms.
[37/2010 wef 15/03/2011]
(3)  If the Tribunal is satisfied upon due proof that the applicant abandoned, abused or neglected the respondent, it may dismiss the application or may reduce the quantum of maintenance ordered by such amount as may be just.
(4)  The onus of proving abandonment, abuse or neglect shall be on the respondent alleging it.
(5)  Where there is more than one respondent, the Tribunal may apportion the maintenance among the various respondents in such manner as may be just.
(6)  The Tribunal shall, before hearing an application under this section, refer the differences between the parties to a conciliation officer for mediation between the parties.