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Question
Posted by: Charl | 2011/09/28

Dont see child now summonds for R9300 a month

Hi, hope you can help?
My partner has a son with a ex girlfriend, he is now 15 years old.
He initially never saw him as she said she does not want his money and he will not see his child.
However orver the last 3 years we got to see him, and they she asked him to pay R1000 maint.
For the last year we have not seen him.
Suudenly he gt summond to be in court and she wants R9300 a month for him.
What to do?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFamily law expert

Both natural parents of the child have a responsibility to contribute to the child's maintenance and it is irrelevant whether or not he sees the child. He will have to pay maintenance. However, the maintenance that he pays should be within his means and should be based on the child's needs.


Bertus Preller is a Divorce Attorney in Cape Town and has more than 20 years experience in most sectors of the law and 13 years as a practicing attorney. He specializes in Family law and Divorce Law at Abrahams and Gross Attorneys Inc. in Cape Town. Bertus is also the Family Law expert on Health24.com and on the expert panel of Law24.com and is frequently quoted on Family Law issues in newspapers such as the Sunday Times and Business Times and magazines such as Noseweek, You and Huisgenoot. His clients include artists, celebrities, sports people and high networth individuals. His areas of expertise are Divorce Law, Family Law, Divorce Mediation, Parenting Plans, Parental Responsibilities and Rights, Custody (care and contact) of children, same sex marriages, unmarried fathers rights, domestic violence matters, international divorce law, digital rights, media law and criminal law.

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: family law expert | 2011/09/30

Both natural parents of the child have a responsibility to contribute to the child's maintenance and it is irrelevant whether or not he sees the child. He will have to pay maintenance. However, the maintenance that he pays should be within his means and should be based on the child's needs.


Bertus Preller is a Divorce Attorney in Cape Town and has more than 20 years experience in most sectors of the law and 13 years as a practicing attorney. He specializes in Family law and Divorce Law at Abrahams and Gross Attorneys Inc. in Cape Town. Bertus is also the Family Law expert on Health24.com and on the expert panel of Law24.com and is frequently quoted on Family Law issues in newspapers such as the Sunday Times and Business Times and magazines such as Noseweek, You and Huisgenoot. His clients include artists, celebrities, sports people and high networth individuals. His areas of expertise are Divorce Law, Family Law, Divorce Mediation, Parenting Plans, Parental Responsibilities and Rights, Custody (care and contact) of children, same sex marriages, unmarried fathers rights, domestic violence matters, international divorce law, digital rights, media law and criminal law.

Reply to family law expert
Posted by: FIO | 2011/09/29

Contact and maintenance are 2 different issues, and one should not mix the two. Maintenance is a responsibility of parents, irrespective wheteher they have contact or not. Contact is a right irrespective of whetehr maintenance gets paid or not.

Hence maintenance issues generally get dealt with in Maintenance court, and contact issues in Childrens Court or High Court.

If he has to appear in court due to her emand of 9300 a month, there is no reason why he should not go to find out what she is claiming for, why so much, and then to determine if what she is claiming is either fair, reasonable or within the abilities of father to pay. She needs to justify that amount in terms of childs actual expenses, She may also be claiming " back-pay"  for months not claimed or not paid by dad.

Re contact, why has dad not seen his child for the last year? Is mom denying contact, is dad just not making effort, whats the reason? Whether he sees child or not, he is still legally obliged to pay maintenance for the child. The child costs money, whether he sees him or not.

Reply to FIO

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