There is a legal responsibility to maintain dependents. Dependents can include a partner/spouse and/or children. The Department of Social Welfare may request that you seek a maintenance order, but if you have significant health and safety concerns, these concerns should be communicated to the Department of Social Welfare. Each case will be accessed individually, and accommodations can be agreed. It is important that this information is communicated to the Department of Social Welfare. For more information see our Domestic Violence page.