Parents have an obligation to provide financially for their children. Child support law provides that a parent not living with a child should provide financial support for the child to cover the cost of their requirements.
There are only two circumstances under which a parent is not obligated to pay maintenance or support for a child:
– If the custodial or parent responsible for the primary care of the child waives their right to child support.
– When the parental rights to the child have been legally terminated. For example, if the child has been adopted by another party.
Child support is obligatory for all parents including those who are separated, divorced or were never married in the first place. A custodial parent can approach the family or maintenance court to apply for a court order stipulating the amount and when support should be paid by the other parent.
The court considers many factors in determining the amount of child support due. The income of the non-custodial parent is taken into account as well as the expenses related to the care and maintenance of the child. For example, the cost of paying for accommodation, feeding and clothing the child, education costs, entertainment expenses as well as any other items may be considered in the calculation.
A custodial parent may not refuse visitation rights to the child due to non-payment of child support. Their means of recourse to receive financial support should be through the court system. The courts can order the parent to pay support or grant a garnishing order on their wages, salary or other means of income.
Continuous non-payment of child support can result in a warrant being issued for the arrest of the non-custodial parent and could result in incarceration. The law also allows for the removal of a passport in order to prevent the parent from fleeing their financial obligations.