Ask an expert

13 Nov 2006

at what age do you stop paying maintenan
i posted this in the divorce support site but maybe cs will have a objective view on this.

my husbund is paying maintenance to his 2 kids from his first marrage, a girl she is 18 turning 19 in dec - her mum allowed both kids to leave school before completing matric , i think the girl has a grade 9 and the boy left round the same age, the girl did a makeup course at the tech which hubby paid for but she pitch drunk for the practical exam and wasted the entire year, the boy was suppose to do home schooling but is years behind

my hubby has been paying every month for both kids but since they obiviously don't want to qualify for anything the money gets give to them for smokes and booze, the girl doesn't stay with her mom for years now she lives with her boyfriend who earns 2000/month

now we ask how long should be "support" these kids? he planned to give the daughter a car for xmas but she has been in and out of rehab several times and tried to commit suicide, our hearts goes out to them but we we're denied any input while they grew up and hubby was releaved to give the x all the responsibility, today the kids are suffering because of us adults, we know it due to a lack of discipline and love that they are battling today, but should they be at a age where they also take responsibility for their choices? we don't want to remain part of the problem forever.

would it be fair to stop all finacial help till the kids proved they they want to better themselves
Answer 550 views

01 Jan 0001

Fascinating question, but primarily a legal one, needing good legal advice, perhaps also fom your nearest Maintenance Court --- whatever a shrink thinkls would be wide or good, what will happen is what the law says ought to happen. If the amount of maintenance was calculated to include school fees, and the kids have left school, surely that amount should no longer be paid --- I'm sure maintenance is not supposed to be about paying for booze and smoking. Giving a car to a girl who needs regular rehab isn't a good idea --- if she's drinking she could crash the car, harming herself and others, and if she's drugging, she co0uld sell the car for drugs. And if she has no job, there's nowhere much she needs to drive to, is there ? Better to offer some support for them to get proper counselling, than just to support their bad habits. I think he'd have a reasonable chance, through the maintenance court, to have his payments reduced or stopped ; and if the kids are behaving as you describe, stopping such payments wouldn't prevent them from doing anything useful. I like your idea of setting up a special account into which to pay some such money, to be released only if it can be put to good use.
Sounds like you two did as much as you were able to do for these kids, while their feckless mother seems to have done much to limit your ability to be helpful.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.