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Question
Posted by: Fed up | 2010-10-24

Biological grandparents to pay

I am the mother of a 2.5 year old who has cerebral palsy.
The biological father has not seen his son in over a year and a half and does not pay maintainence. He refuses to find a job, is a drug addict,has thousands of rands worth of debt and basically has not a cent to his name, He has two kids from another relationship and the mother of the kids has gone to maintainence court etc and is struggeling to get anything right with him. Am I able to bybass the whole tedious maintainence matter, hire a lawyer and sue is parents (who have money) rather.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFamily law expert

South African law imposes a duty on both maternal and paternal grandparents to contribute towards maintenance, if the child's parents are unable to do so in part or in full.

Bertus Preller
Family Law Attorney
Abrahams and Gross Inc.
bertus@divorceattorney.co.za

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Anonymous | 2016-06-09

i am a grandparent to a granddaughter. My son is not married to the mother of the child. We pay for all food and nappies and a few extras for the grandchild. The mother decided without consulting us to send her 4 month old baby to a school and is claiming school fees. We are happy to take care of our grand daughter if the mother works. The mother worked for 4 weeks and was then asked to leave, although now home shes still insisting we pay for this month school fees. The father does not have work

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: Anonymous | 2016-03-05

I am a 43 year old with 3 children under the age of 13 and at school. I am subpoened by my 28 year old sons ex to pay. Maintenance. I can hardly support my own 3 minor kids and earns a minimum salary. My husband, the father of my minor children earns also minimum and is not. My oldest biological father. I have outstanding debts I cannot pay, now Im liable to pay to a girl I warned to be careful because being a parent has lots of financial implications. My youngest is 5 monnths older than the grandchild.

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: Anonymous | 2016-03-05

I am a 43 year old with 3 children under the age of 13 and at school. I am subpoened by my 28 year old sons ex to pay. Maintenance. I can hardly support my own 3 minor kids and earns a minimum salary. My husband, the father of my minor children earns also minimum and is not. My oldest biological father. I have outstanding debts I cannot pay, now Im liable to pay to a girl I warned to be careful because being a parent has lots of financial implications. My youngest is 5 monnths older than the grandchild.

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: Anonymous | 2016-03-05

I am a 43 year old with 3 children under the age of 13 and at school. I am subpoened by my 28 year old sons ex to pay. Maintenance. I can hardly support my own 3 minor kids and earns a minimum salary. My husband, the father of my minor children earns also minimum and is not. My oldest biological father. I have outstanding debts I cannot pay, now Im liable to pay to a girl I warned to be careful because being a parent has lots of financial implications. My youngest is 5 monnths older than the grandchild.

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: family advocate | 2013-07-12

Why would you want to make his parents suffer for your sexual dumbness?

Reply to family advocate
Posted by: ME | 2010-11-02

Just FYI but remember that \any children he has prior to the one with you have first say on any maintenance - i.e. first born first served

Reply to ME
Posted by: family law expert | 2010-10-30

South African law imposes a duty on both maternal and paternal grandparents to contribute towards maintenance, if the child's parents are unable to do so in part or in full.

Bertus Preller
Family Law Attorney
Abrahams and Gross Inc.
bertus@divorceattorney.co.za

Reply to family law expert
Posted by: FIO | 2010-10-25

When you lodge you claim, it might be that the court would want some sort of evidence of inability to pay, or refusal. This would be in the form of statements from him, not too sure.

But whatever process is followed, you can claim from parents if son does not honour his obligations in terms of Childrens Act and Maintenance Act

Reply to FIO
Posted by: Fed up | 2010-10-25

Thank you so much all. I had been two minded about doing it but now have a clear path ahead. Really didnt know I can sue them directly. Thought I had to first go through the courts and then only if they establish that he cannot pay, I would need to sue the grandparents..

FYI Sandra, He does not have DOWN SYNDROME. He is physically disabled, not mentally disabled. Two completely different things.

Reply to Fed up
Posted by: FIO | 2010-10-25

Yes you can claim. Check the Maintenance Act, clearly states that parents are liable for the children, and so you can claim from the grandparents. You can even claim from his brothers and sisters!

Simply go to local Magistrates Courts, fill in the application form with relevent information, and submit a claim, If they oppose the claim, then you may have to get an attorney, as the legal assistance provided to you by the courts is usually pathetic! The costs should not be too much, and you may be able to claim legal expenses from them too if they oppose and lose their opposition.

Reply to FIO | 1 comment (hide)
Posted by: Anonymous | 2016-07-28

In terms of which section of the act can you sue his siblings?

Posted by: Anon | 2010-10-25

You do not have to get a lawyer. You go through the normal maintenance court procedure with the only difference being that you claim from the grandparents and not the father.

I''ve been through it and it was smooth sailing.

Reply to Anon
Posted by: Sandra | 2010-10-24

Fed up.......I''m very sorry if I upset you, as I said please understand me I''m not having a knock at you and I also mentioned I feel very sorry for you and your dear little boy and I mentioned we all make mistakes. I don''t know you so why would you mention I think you a one night stand or a floozy? No that is not what I was implying, I was trying to explain if you young people would just listen to your parents sometimes, but okay lets put that behind us ! You never mentioned about your ex in-laws living in fancy houses, well I''m very sad to hear that they cant accept that their grandson has downs syndrome and I can assure you if one of my dear grandchildren were disabled or whatever I would love him/her the same as any ordinary child. My opinion about your in-laws is, they aught to be ashamed of themselves for not coming forward to help you and their grandchild......My humble apologies and I do hope all goes well for you God Bless !

Reply to Sandra
Posted by: Fed up | 2010-10-24

For the record, I was with him for 5 years. I was engaged to him and it eventually took the birth of my son to give me the courage and strength to leave.Not everything is cut and dry as you make it seem. It was not a fly by night one night stand if that is what you are implying. We all make mistakes in life, some of us are lucky to get away and do what is best for our kids. I am sure you can agree a drug addict as a father is not the best role model.

His parents have placed him in rehab previously but clearly it didnt work and believe me, they are not pensioners. They live in fancy homes and drive only the best cars. They dont call, they dont enquire, they do nothing. I assume they are ashamed of their disabled grandchild.
Im not an impoverished gold digging floozie, I want what is entitled to my son to make life a little easier for him and so that he can have the best. Is that so bad?

Reply to Fed up
Posted by: Sandra | 2010-10-24

Go for it.............You might come off 2nd best, what if his parents are pensioners??? I do feel sorry for you and your dear little child who''s father doesn''t care not even for his other 2 children. Please understand I''m not having a go at you, but what really slays me when you young people get involved you don''t size up the situation about your partners it''s too easy to live together before you married and after a stormy relationship get married, right we all make mistakes when your parents warn you be careful it''s not taken notice of, now that your ex partner isn''t pulling his weight it''s so simple to nail his parents, this is really not called for I''m sure they would help if they have money, the problem is do they have money?? Surely if they had money they would help their son out of his vicious circle. Fed up - take the plunge and enquire but at the end of the day this is between you and your ex not his parents !

Reply to Sandra

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