As per Marrison Family Law that child maintenance is a vital responsibility of both the parents. It’s a procedure to ensure that the basic rights of a child are taken care of till he legally becomes an adult. This includes all the necessary expenditures required to nurture a child. All kinds of expenses from medical, educational, recreational to education come under its purview. As it is a responsibility of both the parents, hence the maintenance has to be shared by both parties. In the aftermath of a divorce, the maintenance amount is paid to the custodial parent.
How does it work?
It has a clearly demarcated mechanism of operation. The parent who gets the custody of the child gets a child maintenance amount based on the expenditure of the household and the earning threshold of the concerning parties. These bears expenses of all the facilities that a child needs. It includes school, college, dental care, medical care, training and recreational activity expenditure. This child maintenance fee can be paid in the following ways
- At the beginning of the month
- On the fixed date every month
- In advance
As the maintenance expenditure depends on the cost of living and standard of living of the family, hence it needs to be updated from time to time. The maintenance fee is upgraded annually and this is done irrespective of the nature of the child’s birth. It doesn’t matter whether he is born out of wedlock, adopted or born from a previous marriage or a subsequent previous. The compensation doesn’t discriminate on this matter.
In scenarios where the divorce is pending or one of the spouses is a homemaker without any income, then the court to compensate in this interim period. They even provide interim help to resolve the case at a minimal cost without further delay.
Thus, even if you are separated or divorced you can’t escape the responsibility of bearing a child. This has to be done until the child becomes an adult, that is, 18 years of age. The time remains same across different countries. Marrison Family Law says, It is a universal standard. However, maintenance amount is subjected to scrutiny and change. In certain cases, the court may lower the amount if they feel that it isn’t necessary.
How is it done?
Generally, both the parents share this child maintenance expenses equally if both of them are working. Otherwise, the father of the child usually pays the maintenance amount (on a monthly basis) to the mother of the child, who is the custodian in most cases. In the absence of the parents, the next kin, that is, the grandparents have legal rights to a child’s custody. In such cases, grandparents are liable to bear the maintenance cost. If the father refuses to pay then the custodial parent can register a complaint against the grandparents as well.
In addition, if both parents and grandparents are unavailable then the responsibility is passed down to next kin, that is, the siblings of the parents – maternal and paternal uncle aunts of the child. Irrespective of your current marital status (remarried, in a relationship or bearing other children) you are obligated to pay child maintenance fee.