Legal Wrangling: Man wants child support from son's mother
The father of a seven-year-old boy has had the sole responsibility of taking care of him since he was two years old.
He said this son's mother took the child to spend the weekend with him and never returned for him.
According to the father, numerous telephone calls to her and promises from her that she was coming the next day for the child have never been met.
"My son keeps asking me for his mother and many times I do not know what to tell him. Sometimes he wakes up in the night crying, saying he wants to know his mother.
"He is a very intelligent child, and so one night when he was crying, I decided to tell him the truth. I told him that his mother took him to spend the weekend with me when he was two and never came back for him or even come to visit him. I told him of the telephone calls I made to her and even showed him text messages she sent me that she was not ready to take care of a child.
"After I explained the situation to my son, he replied, 'Thank you, dad for taking care of me." My son said he was happy living with me, but he just wanted to know why his mother was not coming to see him.
"I have noticed a great change in my son since I explained the situation with his mother to him last year. He is a happier child. He is not moody as before and is now doing very well in school.
"I am happy that I made the decision to tell my son the truth about his mother. I even told him that if the time should come that he meets his mother, he should show her love and he has agreed.
"Last month, I was talking with a friend who asked me if my son's mother was helping me financially with him. I told him no and he said I should telephone her and ask her to assist financially because she is working. I must admit that I find it difficult at times to provide all the basic needs for my son, but my mother helps me a lot.
"My friend is insisting that since I have the sole responsibility of caring for my son, then at least his mother should give money to support him. My friend told me of a case where one of his relatives took his child's mother to court for maintenance, but I told him I only know of men being taken to court for child support," he said.
The Maintenance Act makes provision for a man or a woman to give financial support to their children, and, therefore, a mother or a father can be taken to court for child support. Section 8 of the Maintenance Act states, in part, that every parent has an obligation, to the extent that the parent is capable of doing so, to maintain the his or her child who is a minor.