Who is responsible for paying Child Maintenance in Pakistan?
It is a settled principle of law that a father is required to maintain his children. Under the prevalent laws of Pakistan father is required to maintain his daughter until she gets married. After marriage daughter becomes the responsibility of the husband. On the other hand, for son’s father is entitled to pay maintenance until the age of 18 years. Having said that, however, if the son is not working and is dependent on his father, he can claim maintenance from his father for an academic fee and foreign studies. Earlier law only obligated biological father to maintain children but in recent legal development, even foster child or adopted child can seek maintenance from foster parent or guardian. Generally, payment of maintenance is a legal duty of the father but in some cases maintenance can also be demanded from the mother. It is where a mother is working or a business lady and has means of sources to maintain children but has refused to do so.
In general, it is a father who is required under the law to maintain his children. Minor in the custody of the mother does not out obligation of the father from maintaining a child. Mother on behalf of a minor can file suit for recovery of maintenance in Family court against father. so to speak maintenance or financial support of minor include the expenses incurred on education and other necessities including but not limited to milk, clothing, traveling, recreation, etc.
What is the amount of maintenance amount payable per month to the child by the father?
The monthly maintenance value payable to minors is nowhere mentioned in the law. Maintenance payable to minors can, however, be fixed consensually or by an act of law. Act of law means the decree or order of the court. As a general principle maintenance value is determinable after considering the financial soundness of the father.
What is the procedure for claiming maintenance of a child in Pakistan?
Under the prevailing laws of Pakistan, maintenance of child if not fixed consensually, Claim for maintenance can be filed either in Family Court or before the Chairman Union Council. Regardless of whether you choose to file a claim in court or before Union Council, it is paramount that the financial soundness of the father is established. There is another important factor which the court or Union Council considers in determining the maintenance payable each month by father to a child. The exact expense of the minor is to be established so as to decide the exact value which the minor requires for financial support in order to meet daily necessities.
As the case may take time till it is decided, court or Union Council during the pendency of the case, fix interim maintenance of minor which is increased or decreased after a full examination of the facts and circumstances of each case.
Can a mother separated but not divorces claim maintenance for a minor from a father?
The mother does not have to be divorced in order to claim maintenance for a minor from the father. the claim of maintenance of minor has nothing to do with the status of marriage. As discussed above, the father cannot wriggle out of his obligation to support and maintain the minor on the ground that custody of the minor is with the mother.
What is the age limit for a child to claim maintenance from the father?
According to the existing laws of Pakistan, a daughter is required to be maintained till she gets married. It is because the responsibility of maintenance shifts from father to husband and therefore claims of maintenance by the husband to daughter after marriage do not arise. Having said that if a daughter is a divorce and she has no means of income, the father’s obligation to maintain his daughter cannot be ignored. In such eventuality, the daughter can still claim maintenance from her father until she remarries again.
Son, till he attains the age of 18 years, is required to be maintained by father. the idea behind this law is that upon attaining the age of majority, a person becomes self-sufficient but in a case where son wants to pursue his studies and is still defendant on father, in such eventuality father cannot refuse to may maintenance to son. Therefore, there is no settled principle or formula by which the father can feel to wriggle out of obligation to maintain his children on the sole ground that son has attained the age of majority. Therefore, each case has to be decided on its own merits, facts, and circumstances.
What is the procedure when the father fails to comply with the maintenance order /Decree?
In case of failure to comply with the decree of maintenance in favor of the minor, assets can be attached by the court. If the father is a salaried person, the court attaches his salary for the satisfaction of the decree. Where there no asset to satisfy the court decree, the court can also get the father arrested. In such eventuality, the father will have to remain behind bars for 6month to 1 year.
For maintenance of minor and in satisfaction of the decree of the court, grandfather is also equally liable to satisfy decree of a court. Any assets of the grandfather of the minor can be attached to satisfy the decree of maintenance payable to the minor.
We at Hamza and Hamza Law Associates are the best family lawyers in Lahore. We know the sensitivity of such disputes and handle your case swiftly and effectively. Regular encounters with new and intricate cases, we have attained great experience in the field of maintenance claims for minors. If you are facing trouble at hands of the father of the minor with regard to payment of maintenance, schedule a meeting with us and we shall take care of the rest.