Well, Irish law allows for maintenance to be paid for a child up until they hit 23 years of age if they are still in full-time education.
The maintenance order was not made under Irish law. An Irish parent is not obliged to support a child over the age of 18 or contribute to the cost of its education other than the context of separation or divorce.
Are you sure of this?
There are restrictions on claiming grants in relation to university costs on those under 23 because they are considered to be still dependent on their parents.
A child is considered a dependent child of the family under the family law (maintenance of spouses and children) act 1976 until the age of 23 if in full time education.
Regardless of whether the maintenance order is made ancillary to divorce/separation proceedings or on its own.
I was under the impression that the rules allowed for maintenance for a child over 18 but under 23, either to facilitate full time education (if cost of same prevents the child from entering / continuing education) or to support the child if already in education.
From the Family Law Act 1995 which amended the definition of "dependent child of the family" in S3 of the Family Law (Maintenance of Spouses and Children) Act 1976.
An order can be made under the Children Act 1997 to make maintenance payments but there is no general duty on parents to maintain a child over the age of 18.
The Child Care Act 1991 defines a child as "child means a person under the age of 18 years other than a person who is or has been married;"
The Health Board has functions in relation to such a person in respect of neglect. Once the child reaches 18 that all stops. The age of 23 appears to mean that if one spouse desires the U23 year old to attend college the other may be made to contribute. This would be subject to affordability. I have yet to hear of a child forcing the parents to pay for college by going to court.
But there is under the Family Law Acts. Even the Children Act 1997 refers to dependency of Children in the same form as I quoted above, admittedly in relation to Guardianship.
The State would have different obligations to a child than the Child's parents. The parents would and should have more onerous obligations, such as providing for the child over the age of 18 and I presume that this is where the obligation to provide for maintenance for children over 18 comes from.
You won't hear of someone seeking maintenance for a child over 18 because of the practicalities of the matter. An 18 year old can get a part time job to pay for college, or the absent parent will already be paying maintenance voluntarily. If they are not paying voluntarily, it's likely that the lone parent has tried to obtain maintenance in the past and hit a brick wall anyway.
There is no obligation on parents to support adult children unless ordered by a court to do so. That is usually in the context of a general order to contribute to the expenses of a household. It is recognised as a legitimate expense to educate children up to the age of 23.