Legal Wranglings: Mom should pay child maintenance
A father who has been taking care of his three sons for the last five years, without any assistance from their mother, said it has been difficult and stressful.
He explained that he loves his children but would really like their mother to offer some financial support for them.
He said works at a factory. His salary is just a few thousand dollars more than minimum wage. He does gardening on weekends to get additional money to support his children.
"I took my children from their mother when I was forced to move out of the home because she refused to take care of them, be a real mother to them," he said.
"When she left work in the evenings, she would go out, drink at bars and clubs with her friends, and come home after midnight. I decided I was not going to put up with her way of life, and I moved out. After I left she continued her bad habit, and would leave the children with neighbours.
happy and comfortable
"I was really upset that she continued to ignore the children, so I went there one day and took them to live with me. The children were happy, and since then I have been doing the very best to make them happy and comfortable.
"I ensure they are adequately fed, and that they attend school and church regularly. I truly love my sons who are ages 12, nine and seven, and they are doing very well in school. I know they love me, and they are very polite and kind boys. They do not quarrel and fight with one another, and I encourage them to do the right things at all times.
"My real problem is that I have the children for the last five years, and their mother has never given me any money for them or even asked for them to visit her. I have it very hard, financially, to look after the boys.
"It is really not fair to me to be standing all the expenses to look after them when their mother is working and spending her money on herself. I called her last month and told her it was time she considered giving me some money, either on a weekly or monthly basis, to help with the children.
"She was very upset and cursed me. My mother is suggesting that I take her to court for maintenance. I know of men being taken to court for maintenance, but I have never heard of mothers being dragged before the court for maintenance," he said.
The Maintenance Act makes provision for fathers and mothers to be taken to court for child support. There are cases in which mothers have been ordered by the court to give financial support to their children. It is now open to you to go to the court and get a summons for the children's mother to appear in court in respect to child support.
Section 8 of the Maintenance Act states, in part, "every parent has an obligation,to the extent that the parent is capable of doing so," to maintain their children who are minors.