In family constellations, maintenance obligations are imposed on the grounds of parentage or marriage.

Maintenance obligations on the basis of parentage include child support for children and parental support when parents become needy.

In the context of separation and divorce, it is important for the spouses to know what maintenance claims they have or what maintenance claims, if and in what amount, can be made against them. Matrimonial maintenance distinguishes between maintenance claims after separation (maintenance of separation) and legal status of divorce (postmarital maintenance).