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04 Jan 2013

School and Boarding Fees
Hi, Please can somebody advise or suggest a way forward. Thanks in advance.

My boy is now 12 years old and will be going to grade 8 at high school next year. I pay maintenance for my boy, but I have not seen him in over 3 years despite my best efforts. I stay about 180km away from my son in another town. I currently pay the school fees of about R700 a month, even when it was not specified in the maintenance order. The Ex wants my son to a go to a high school in nearby town (about 25km away from where they live) and also go to the boarding school. She is insisting that I pay for the all school fees and the boarding school (comes to about R4 000 plus a month).

I have a problem with this as nothing is discussed with myself (I am simply told) and feel my son can go to a school in the town where they live and does not need a boarding school. He can even come and stay with me and go to a school in the town that I live. If the Ex was going to pay half and discussed maturely with myself, then I could consider it. It is a huge increase in school fees not to mention all the other costs. The Ex cannot afford to pay anything towards school fees and is always struggling during the year. I do ad hoc help out (e.g sports tours and equipment etc) during the year.

I am not sure what to do. I do love my son and want the best for him, but I see significant unfair costs coming my way. I am sure that the Ex has other reasons for sending my boy to scholl in another town. I have been advised to ask for a meeting (Ex will refuse) to discuss alternatives, otherwise refuse to any additional school fees and the Ex can argue her case in a maintenance hearing or court before a magistrate. This assuming my boy even gets into the high school in another town.

What approach would the maintenance courts take in a such a situation ?
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