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Question
Posted by: Jordan | 2005/07/01

What must I do?

Okay guys I really need advice here. I have a 16month old baby boy. I was living with the father and he left when I was about 3 months pregnant. He needed citizenship and I didn't want to get married for that reason. He married another woman and I didn't even know about it until I was about 7/8 months pregnant. She was a nut-case and was stalking me and threatened to kill my child. She was obsessed with me. Anyway, he divorced her when he got what he wanted (SA papers) and we kind of got back together. I in the meantime had to move back with my folks, sell my car and basically lost alot because of him walking out on me and leaving me with all the bills to pay. In Feb my baby turned 1 and we had a bit of a tiff. He have access to the child when and where he pleased. When he came round one day, unannounced and I wasn't there he had a tantrum. He used to pay maintenance of R800 per month. So since Feb I have not seen him or heard from him, except for in April when I got a letter from his lawyer demanding access (which I had apparantly never allowed). I ignored the letter since it wasn't registered post. Now yesterday I get another letter in the post with a cheque of R500 and threatening me since I hadn't replied to the 1st letter in April. I am not going to bank the cheque (R500 WOW) But I never wanted this to get ugly. And I never wanted my child to be without a father, but HE chose to leave. Also he is a 'High Risk Flyer' which means he can leave the country with my child and I will never get him back. What must I do?? I know fathers have rights too, but does he deserve a 2nd (5th actually) chance.

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Our expert says:
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he sounds selfish and a user, or am I missing something in this story ? You need to see a good lawyer, he can't simply demand access, though he may be able to get it. And he can be forced to pay regular maintenance. And you are absolutely right to recognize the risk that he could leave the country and try to take the child with him, so again, discuss this with your lawyer. Check for a law Clinic at your nearest Law School. Also, talk to the people at your magistrate's Court / maintenance COurt.

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4
Our users say:
Posted by: SG | 2005/07/01

No more chances for this guy is my advice.However,make sure you take him to court to get regular maintenance and set visiting hours.
Men that don't support their children (fairly) make me sick.(I'm a male)

Reply to SG
Posted by: Lola | 2005/07/01

Hi Jordan,

OMG, what a nightmare. I would make it a matter of extreme urgency to see a lawyer. Your child doesn't need a father like that. What kind of a man does that to his pregnant girlfriend? And now to the mother of his child?

Reply to Lola
Posted by: Jordan | 2005/07/01

Thanks Purple, I am just so in two minds about him. I know he loves his child but in a very possessive, jealous way. And he is not a reasonable person, so we always clash.
I have e'mailed a woman's legal advice site and hope to get a response from them soon.
Thanks again.

Reply to Jordan
Posted by: Purple | 2005/07/01

I think you should get some legal advice.

Paying maintenance does not give him the right to access to your child, however, your child does benefit from access to his father.

Considering your worries about him being a flight risk and his past behaviour, I'm sure a lawyer could put together a strong case for you or at least advise you on how to go about dealing with him.

Reply to Purple

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