Question posted in the Family Law category relating to Gauteng
Question value: R 200.00
Hi. We have a parenting plan endorsed by the Family Advocate. Maintenance payments are included. The father is responsible for the day mother fees in full which he pays directly to the day care and R500 additonal paid to me. He has paid until this month now claiming he has only received UIF. He did pay the R500 to me. The day mom asked that he discuss it with me since it's part of the maintenance.l arrangement. He never did and sent an email saying that he has spoken to his lawyer and non payment is fine as long as their is an arrangement with the day care. The day care requested via email that he submit a payment plan by 05 June. He responded tonight say his lawyer is drafting a letter to the school which will be sent next week. Is there anything I can or should be doing to ensure that he adheres to the maintenance agreement and the contract signed with the day care. I'm concerned I will be held liable for the arrears, that my child will loose his spot in the school and also that he is intentionally leaving me out of communications with the day care.
Do I need to approach the magistrate court?
Answer to the Question
Hi there and thank you for your question,
I am a practicing attorney based in South Africa and I will assist you with your question. Please feel free to ask as many follow up questions in order to clarify your question. If you have a new question, you must please open a new thread.
The parenting plan is an agreement between you and the father. So, any obligations which he has (e.g. pay the day care) is actually an obligation to you, even though he might pay the day care directly.
This means that if he stops paying the day care directly, it is not for the day care to send him a letter of demand, but rather for YOU to send him a letter of demand.
You can't say to the day care that they must sue the father for the money. The day care is entitled to come after both the father and you for the money.
You are both jointly liable to the day care school, notwithstanding the fact that you have an agreement between the two of you which regulates this.
In short, you can be held liable for the fees.
In so far as he is not paying the day care fees, that is a breach of your parenting plan, which will entitled you to approach the family court for enforcement.
What will happen is that they will grant you a writ of execution which will enable you to attach his property, which will be sold to cover the fees.
If there is a part of the answer which you need more advice on, or clarity please continue in this same thread instead of opening a new question.
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Information provided by client
Obviously the father will know that I have paid and will need to be informed that those monies are now owing to me. Do I need to notify him of anything further (e.g. notification of breach?) or do I simply approach the Magistrate for assistance tomorrow? Is there anything specific the Magistrate needs to give me? I've not worked through the Magistrate before?
Answer to the Question
Yes, you can inform him that he has breached the agreement. You must do this before you apply to court.
You would need to speak to the Clerk of the court about assistance with a dispute regarding maintenance, where the father of the child didn't pay the maintenance, and you now want a writ of execution to recover money that you paid yourself to the school.