advertisement
Question
Posted by: Stepmom | 2010/02/26

Child support &  custody

My husband''s ex was granted custody of their two minor children with child support paid monthly. It is now 8 yrs down the line and she has decided to move to another city and leave the children with us. A letter from her laywer claims she cannot afford to contribute financially and still wants access to the children.
The children are happy to live with us permanently and there is no visible disruption to routine.
I would like to know the following:
- whether we need to formalize this arrangement (especially as there is a maintenance order in place with the courts) 
- what are our legal decision making rights for both myself and my husband with regards to schooling, medical emergencies etc 
- can we claim maintenance from the children''s mother - if so, how?

Not what you were looking for? Try searching again, or ask your own question
Our expert says:
Expert ImageFamily law expert

Dear Stepmom,

I suggest that you approach the court for a variation of the current Deed of Settlement and/or setting aside of the maintenance order and that this new arrangement be formalised by way of a court order, this is done on application to court. The court will only vary the current order when that is in the interests of the children.

In determining what is in the best interests of the children, a Court must decide which of the parents is better able to promote and ensure its physical, moral, emotional and spiritual welfare. This can be assessed by reference to certain factors or criteria, namely:
(a) the love, affection and other emotional ties which exist between parent and child and the parent's compatibility with the child;
(b) the capabilities, character and temperament of the parent and the impact thereof on the child's needs and desires;
(c) the ability of the parent to communicate with the child and the parent's insight into, understanding of and sensitivity to the child's feelings;
d) the capacity and disposition of the parent to give the child the guidance which he requires
(e) the ability of the parent to provide for the basic physical needs of the child, the so-called 'creature comforts', such as food, clothing, housing and the other material needs - generally speaking, the provision of economic security;
(f) the ability of the parent to provide for the educational well-being and security of the child, both religious and secular;
(g) the ability of the parent to provide for the child's emotional, psychological, cultural and environmental development;
(h) the mental and physical health and moral fitness of the parent;
(i) the stability or otherwise of the child's existing environment, having regard to the desirability of maintaining the status quo ;
j) the desirability or otherwise of keeping siblings together;
(k) the child's preference, if the Court is satisfied that in the particular circumstances the child's preference should be taken into consideration;

You can't withold access from her but you can certainly ask that she contributes to their maintenance once the varied the current agreement and setting aside of the maintenance order.

Best is to do this through an attorney.

Bertus Preller
www.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.

1
Our users say:
Posted by: Family law expert | 2010/02/27

Dear Stepmom,

I suggest that you approach the court for a variation of the current Deed of Settlement and/or setting aside of the maintenance order and that this new arrangement be formalised by way of a court order, this is done on application to court. The court will only vary the current order when that is in the interests of the children.

In determining what is in the best interests of the children, a Court must decide which of the parents is better able to promote and ensure its physical, moral, emotional and spiritual welfare. This can be assessed by reference to certain factors or criteria, namely:
(a) the love, affection and other emotional ties which exist between parent and child and the parent's compatibility with the child;
(b) the capabilities, character and temperament of the parent and the impact thereof on the child's needs and desires;
(c) the ability of the parent to communicate with the child and the parent's insight into, understanding of and sensitivity to the child's feelings;
d) the capacity and disposition of the parent to give the child the guidance which he requires
(e) the ability of the parent to provide for the basic physical needs of the child, the so-called 'creature comforts', such as food, clothing, housing and the other material needs - generally speaking, the provision of economic security;
(f) the ability of the parent to provide for the educational well-being and security of the child, both religious and secular;
(g) the ability of the parent to provide for the child's emotional, psychological, cultural and environmental development;
(h) the mental and physical health and moral fitness of the parent;
(i) the stability or otherwise of the child's existing environment, having regard to the desirability of maintaining the status quo ;
j) the desirability or otherwise of keeping siblings together;
(k) the child's preference, if the Court is satisfied that in the particular circumstances the child's preference should be taken into consideration;

You can't withold access from her but you can certainly ask that she contributes to their maintenance once the varied the current agreement and setting aside of the maintenance order.

Best is to do this through an attorney.

Bertus Preller
www.divorceattorney.co.za

Reply to Family law expert

Have your say

Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
advertisement