This is a question often asked by those following a child custody case. The parent who only has visitation rights is sometimes restricted or even prevented from seeing their child following traumatic instances of emotional conflict between the two parties. If a father is prevented from seeing his child, should he really have to continue paying maintenance?
Please remember: By not paying maintenance, you are only harming your child and not the parent with custody and care obligations towards the child!
Separating Child Custody From Maintenance
It is important that you understand this important principle before you stop paying maintenance; child custody and visitation agreements are considered separate from that of a maintenance agreement.
Under no conditions is a parent obligated to stop paying child maintenance. Child maintenance is arranged so that the custodian or carer of the child has the financial means of providing food, education, and medical expenses for the child. Additionally, you cannot stop paying maintenance even in the event that the other parent prevents you from having contact with the child. If your ex-spouse remarries, has more children or finds themselves a new job, you are still expected to pay monthly maintenance according to the maintenance contract.
Here are a few things to keep in mind in the event of restricted visitation and contact, or the restructuring of the maintenance agreement:
Amending Maintenance Order
If you cannot afford the maintenance for your child, then you may begin the procedure of amending your maintenance order. This can be done with the assistance of a divorce lawyer, or you can make the application yourself at the Family Court.