My ex is responsible for medical and school expenses for our child who is ten and we've been divorced for five years. He is supposed to pay the service providers, no monies are paid to me. My problem is that he is always in arrears with school fees, he's twice received letters from the school demanding payment in full or to otherwise remove the child from the school (it's a private school). Medical bills are mostly settled by myself as the savings portion on the medical aid is always depleted, doctors and pharmacies request payment for outstanding amounts before continuing with service or specialists are contracted out of medical aid and need to be paid before consultation. My daughter suffers from a disabilitatng disorder and her expenses are quite high as she requires a prothesis every year as she grows. This year I've had to pay for the prothesis as he said to me that he didn't have the money. My ex is a professional who earns a good salary. This is my first issue.The second issue i have is that when my child visits, he doesn't spend quality time with her. She is often left to fend for herself and will often spend the entire weekend on the couch watching tv and making her own meals as he mostly sleeps. The only contact he has with her is every second weekend, he never phones to speak to her the rest of the time. At times he has been resentful to take her as "he's made other plans". He's also not consistent in the pick up and drop off times. He never attends parents evenings or any school functions. My child misses out on family functions and birthday parties if it happens to be his weekend as he doesn't attend them. I sometimes feel that I'm the only one pushing the relationship for the child's sake. What i'd like to know is do i have grounds for applying for sole custody? I'm quite prepared to take over all expenses, seeing that i'm paying for medical anyway at the moment. I just don't see any value in having him continue to be a part of my child's life especially as he isn't a great dad.
Been to maintenance court three years ago, situation has reverted back to what it was then.
HiWelcome to Just Answer!! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to assist you.
I can understand your frustrations and your concerns are valid. My view is that you should get these issues investigated by the family advocate if you want sole custody. You will have to make an appointment with them and they will then investigate your concerns and will make recommendations in this regard. It will be a thorough and long process as the court does not really take matters where custody is concerned lightly.
My view is that you should first try and go directly to the Family Advocate as it is a more personal process rather than the maintenance court. One often gets the impression that the maintenance court is abit of a sausage machine!
Go to the following link for info about the FA offices:
What should i do in the meantime until our case can be heard?
Should she still be allowed to visit her dad? At the moment it's been three weeks since we last heard from him.
I'd like to put her onto my medical aid which has better benefits. I'd prefer this as last year his medical aid membership was suspended for four months due to nonpayment. I'd feel better knowing she is covered. Should i do that without any prejudice to my rights?
I think you should not do this in the interim. It has other implications as well in respect of double insurance witrh your aid and his.
If he does not contact you re the visits, that is preferable as this proves the point that he is not interested and really makes it easier in your endeavour to get sole custody.
If he request it, you will still have to let her visit. There is a court order and has to obey same. You should also not be seen as being the cause of the problem here by not letting her go.
How long does it take at the Family Advocate on average to get to a resolution? We'd be applying to the JHB office
It is difficult to say, but the investigation phase should take up to 2 months. Then it still has to go to court. I think you look at 4-6 months before you will have a decision.
Admitted Attorney 17 years experience
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