maintenance and parental rights

More than likely the most emotionally exhausting form of Court proceedings – matters relating to maintenance, and matters pertaining to parental rights, care and contact with minor children.

Luckily, we offer a professional and supportive approach through such trying times.

We have a prior article that canvasses the Court processes, during divorce proceedings, to assist parents, and spouses, with the aforesaid issues.

Often, however, post-divorce, or with regards to unmarried parents, issues with regards to maintenance can arise – it may be required, it may need to be increased, and it may need to be decreased and/or completely revoked.

In this regard, our Maintenance Courts’ have, commendably, created a simplified and expedient process (with due regard to the volume of matters that are faced).

This process does not specifically require the assistance of an Attorney, however, these matters can become complicated, and can be emotionally taxing.

Whether you require assistance in instituting maintenance proceedings, advice thereupon, or representation throughout – we will be with you every step of the way.

In light of the current economic climate, many matters are expected in the Maintenance Court in due course, with regards to maintenance reductions and unpaid maintenance.

Each of these matters will be judged on the individual merits thereof.

Our Courts, and our office, hold the interests of minor children in the highest esteem – anyone required to effect payment of maintenance should continue to do so in so far as possible.

Non-payment, dependant on the circumstances, could be deemed contempt of a Court order, and may further result in a warrant against the defaulting party for the attachment of assets, for due payment, and/or a garnishing order.

We are available to provide advice on all related matters to maintenance.

We must pause at this juncture to point out that maintenance and parental rights are unrelated – should maintenance payments halt, we urge you not to halt visitation.

Visitation, when governed by a Court order, must be carried out in the manner so stipulated – non-compliance therewith may be contempt of Court.

This goes as far as the ‘small aspects’ thereof, such as telephonic contact with minor children.

Visitation not governed by a Court order, if abruptly and/or unnecessarily halted, may result in an application to Court for the enforcement thereof.

Parents without visitation should also be weary that visitation may be requested at any time in the future, and that our Courts’ can be duly approached to provide the requisite visitation rights in this regard.

All of the aforesaid visitation, care, and contact related matters are, to say the least, emotional endeavours.

We accordingly advise that legal representation should be sought in such matters – even through agreement and/or mediated matters, ambiguous wording in agreements can lead to future issues and/or exploitations, which go ‘hand in hand’ with costs and unnecessary acrimony.

These can all have negative effects on minor children – accordingly, the greatest level of care should be placed on such matters.

Should you need advice or assistance herein, feel free to contact our office.

As always, our first consultation, including legal advice, is free of charge*.

Written by Keegan Elliott (Attorney)

*Our free consultation is subject to terms and conditions, time limitations, and a ‘one per person’ and/or matter policy. In our discretion.