Child maintenance. Sadly, an issue that causes much strife between often already estranged families.
In this case, the father isn't paying up what he has promised - and is legally bound to - and is managing to avoid confrontation by redirecting the mother of his children to his new girlfriend.
Read her story here:
"I'm struggling to get my children's father to pay child support.
We went through court, and our agreement was R3000 a month. Every month he doesn't pay the full amount and now he got a new girlfriend and I ask for the maintenance last month she sent me a WhatsApp telling me I'm not getting any money because the children's father is now providing for her and her kids.
She says that I just want money, that's all I care about, and she is pregnant with his baby, who is now his 6th child.
Can I get a lawyer to present me in court, because he doesn't care anymore and they think they can send me WhatsApps and saying all the stuff and it's fine.
Last month he paid R6000 for the house he is renting, four phones and his drinking habit, but he can't even give me a lousy R1000 or even R500 towards his two children.
I cant speak to him cause his so-called girlfriend replies, she said she will see me in court - not the father - and she is running his money now.
I don't have a lot of money but I want to show that woman that these two kids of his also mean something and they deserve the money that their father agreed to pay."
Every child's right
"It is every child's right to receive care, contact and financial aid from both parents," Pedro says.
"Seeing there is already a court-issued Maintenance agreement in place, by him not honouring such agreement he is in breach of an official court order," she explains.
This has several consequences attached to it and Pedro suggests that this mom needs to gather all the information on the amounts paid and not paid, as well as dates, and she needs to return to court with the agreement itself and open a case for violation of a maintenance order at her local children’s court.
"They will all appear in court and he will have to answer as to why there has been a shortfall of payments," Pedro says.
Guest agrees that this mom must go to court and apply for arrears, and adds that if the father is employed then she must apply for a garnishee order.
"His girlfriend cannot do anything on his behalf, the girlfriend is misinformed," Guest adds.
"The courts will probably summon him and ask why he is not paying the court ordered amount, if he does not agree to pay the arrears they can attach any assets or go to trial," she says.
Guest adds that they seldom take it to trial and will instead try and resolve it through him committing to pay an amount each month towards the arrears.
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