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25 Feb 2009

To sue or not to sue
Hi all, i really need advice on this matter. I' m happily married for 6years now and have a 14 year old from a previous relationship. The biological father of my child never paid maintenance since childbirth. I struggled on my own to raise my child, until i married my now husband. I have a good relationship with my child' s father, as i always wanted them to have a good relationship as well, i just never asked him for money..ever. He' s still such a very immature little boy of nearly 40years old, and i always hoped for my child to one day realise when he can figurure that out by himself, without me badmouthing his father...which my son did eventually through his words and deeds. He' s now married and has 2 kids. My problem is, hubby and me r now struggling finacially, because i lost my job last year. I phoned this man, asking him to only pay my child' s schoolfees which is R700, i' ll deal with the other stuff he needs myself . Trust me, if there was another way, i wouldnt have asked him that. Him and his wife now has a problem with the amount of money, eventhough i gave him all the school' s detail' s, and asked him if i could arrange a debit order for the amount because i know he would not follow through in paying the amout each month, they even phoned the school to make sure if that really is the amoutn i' m paying per month, because the think i' m asking the money for myself. Should i just let it go and work out something else or what is my options here? Both him and his wife r working, and i even suggested that he paid the schoolfees just untill i find another job. What breaks my hear is that he can see this child of his, whenever he wants to, and i' ve never had a problem with that, the thing is that this child doesnt want to see him anymore, and said that he only has one father and that' s his stepdad. My husband also was very angry at me at first for asking him for payment, but understands that didnt know what else to do. Why does it feel so wrong to ask this man for money? i dont really want to put my child and husband, nor his children and wife through a court case by suing him for maintenance, but what r my rights regarding this matter? Thank you, and all advice would be highly appreciated.
Answer 512 views

01 Jan 0001

Surely you ought to go to the Maintenance Court at your local Magistrate's Court, and ask the Court to consider what amount of maintenance would be appropriate, including but not limited to school fees. The court must decide what the CHILD needs, and would want documentation from you of the costs of schooling, food, hosing, whatever ( include all of this, so that at least his payments could add up to enough to cover the schooling costs ) ; and they would want to see eidence of your income and his. Then the court would decide how much he ought to pay, and he would have to pay it, as he would be in contempt of court if he didn't.
This has nothing to do with whether the child does or does not want to see or visit him --- its the child's privilege to decide that, and he may not withhold maintenance if the child doesn't want to see him. He has all along had a DUTY, legal and moral, to pay for the upkeep of the boy, so don't feel guilty and don't hesitate to go to the Court. It should not be an ordeal unless he insists on making it one.
Bob's girlfriend seems to have it right. Good luck
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