Our expert says:
Family law expert
Go to the Maintenance Office at the Maintenance Court in your area to apply for the court order. You will need:
* The name and address of the person against whom the order is being made, and the details of where they work
* Your identity document
* The child's birth certificates
* A letter of attendance from the school principal for any school-going child
* Proof of your income (like a salary or
* Your papers, receipts and accounts, showing all the things you must pay every month
The maintenance officer will send a summons to the person against whom the order is being made asking them to come to the maintenance office on a certain date.
On the date, you and the other party must go to the office to determine how much that person must pay for the children.
The maintenance officer will help you work out all the things you must pay for every month, how much money you earn and how much money the other parent earns.
If the person against whom the order is being made says that they are not the parent of the child, you need to ask the court to order a paternity test.
If you agree how much the person must pay for the children, the maintenance officer will get both of you to sign a paper called an order of court. This says that the other party must pay the agreed amount of money every week or every month.
If you do not agree, or if the other person does not come to the office on that date, then the officer will say your case must go to the Maintenance Court. The court sends notices to both parties telling you both to come to the Maintenance Court on a certain date.
The magistrate will listen to both the parents' stories. They will ask both parties to show how much they earn and how much they pay every month for things like rent, electricity and food.
The magistrate then decides how much the other person must pay for the children. The magistrate will make this amount an order of court, in writing.
The person against whom the order is being made must pay the maintenance amount every week or month to the maintenance office. You must then collect the money from the maintenance office. The money can also be paid into your bank account. This will save you from having to collect the money from the office.
Regarding the abuse, I suggest that you approach the Family Court and obtain a domestic violence interdict against him on account of the abuse exerted by him on you.
Based on his relationship with you he is entitled to contact with the child and you can't refuse him access merely because he fails to pay maintenance. Tactically, however, if you do refuse that he sees the child he will have to go to court to enforce his rights. This may bring things to a head. But don't use the child as a pawn to manipultae the father. Preferably, if you can, consult a family law specialist to arrive at a win-win solution that benefits mom and dad and the child.
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