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Child Support Laws Around the World

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 24 Feb 2015 | comments*Discuss
 
Children Parents Maintenance Child

It is internationally recognised that parents have a responsibility to raise their children. This includes providing adequate financial support and a nurturing environment. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1992) declares the development and upbringing of a child, or children, is the responsibility of both parents, and this forms part of the fundamental rights of any child.

World Wide View

Individual countries around the world have established guidelines in place, regarding the assessment, implementation and collection of child support from absent or non resident parents. Child support laws are in place in a vast majority of European, North American, Australasian and South American countries. Many African and Asian countries also have some form of child maintenance support law.

All of these countries view child maintenance as an obligation of each parent, and acknowledges that a non resident parent must provide maintenance payment to a resident parent (or parent with care) or other legal guardian for the care and support they provide the child or children.

Special Circumstances

Child support is usually arranged as part of a legal separation or divorce. This form of maintenance payment may supplement any spousal support, which is received in alimony. Alimony however, is not child support. Child support maintenance payments are made solely for the provision of care and support for a child or children of the person paying the correctly calculated amount of maintenance.

In England and Wales a separating couple can formalise their split by entering into a Deed of Separation. This is a contract which states all the terms upon which both individuals agree. If the couple have children the deed can also list any arrangements concerning the children. However, this recognised deed does not replace the need for maintenance payment arrangements.

Understandably child support laws vary considerably around the world. In some countries maintenance arrangements are made directly between the child’s parents, whilst in other countries child support has to be arranged directly by the state.

The increasingly high level of maintenance payments that are demanded, as a result of a partnership breakdown, causes the number of cases of maintenance payment avoidance to steadily grow.

Any person who has experienced an acrimonious divorce may understandly see the additional maintenance payment they are expected to make as an excessive and unjust additional punishment, and may attempt to avoid having to pay this periodic amount.

Additional Privileges And Obligatory Requirements

In the majority of cases providing financial support, in the form of a periodic maintenance payment, is all that is required of the non resident parent. In some countries access or visitation rights are tied to child support, if disputes between the child’s parents causes the parent with care to refuse visits from the non resident parent.

Child support can also be requested from a parent with sole custody of children by the non custodial parent, to provide support when the children are in their care. Whatever the circumstances of a separation or divorce are child support maintenance payments are legally obligatory.

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My son's father is British and lives in the Bristol. I live in Africa. He has not been supporting his son over 2 to 3 years now. My son was born the UK but I moved back to Africa with him when he was aobut 5 months. I spoke to him and he couldn't be bothered. Is there any way I can sue from while I'm this side and how do I go about. And I also suspect he is getting child support from the government in the UK. I'm desperate as I don't think I should go through this alone and he couldn't care any. Desperate mother
Mel - 24-Feb-15 @ 11:17 AM
I have raised my daughter for 18 years and is still in full time education. She was born in South Africa. Her father was married at the time of her birth and his now ex wife and him have two children to the marraige, who are now in their late 20s. Another child was born to his wife, which was not his, nine months before I had my daughter.He has raised all three children, and when I lost my job in south africa, I needed a car to get work. He bought me a car in 1996 when my daughter was two and I exhonourated him from maintenance until she was sixteen, as I was a single mother and desperate to work.However, he promised that when she turned 16 he would pay any cost for her upbringing and education, be it college or university. He has not honoured this. She is still in full time education. Do I have a claim for future maintenance until she has finished education and can I claim back pay from when she was sixteen. The vehicle he bought for me to find work and help maintain my child was bought for R30,000, some sixteen years ago. My daughter was born in south africa, but now lives in the UK with me.
jooles - 9-Aug-12 @ 7:25 PM
I have raised my daughter for 18 years and is still in full time education.She was born in South Africa.Her father was married at the time of her birth and his now ex wife and him have two children to the marraige, who are now in their late 20s.Another child was born to his wife, which was not his, nine months before I had my daughter. He has raised all three children, and when I lost my job in south africa, I needed a car to get work.He bought me a car in 1996 when my daughter was two and I exhonourated him from maintenance until she was sixteen, as I was a single mother and desperate to work. However, he promised that when she turned 16 he would pay any cost for her upbringing and education, be it college or university.He has not honoured this.She is still in full time education.Do I have a claim for future maintenance until she has finished education and can I claim back pay from when she was sixteen.The vehicle he bought for me to find work and help maintain my child was bought for R30,000, some sixteen years ago.My daughter was born in south africa, but now lives in the UK with me.
jooles - 9-Aug-12 @ 7:25 PM
My Ex-Husband works for the UNITED NATIONS and is not paying child support. Worldwide, critics estimated that hundreds of women, perhaps more, have not collected support because the United Nations and its affiliated organizations have refused for decades to waive their international immunity from legal process and garnishee the wages of employees who did not pay.
flash - 4-Jun-12 @ 1:51 PM
@Mary. If he has parental responsibility he does have a right to see his child. Why is it that you don't allow him to see his son?
QuiteContrary - 8-May-12 @ 10:02 AM
I'm a single parent that filed papers for child support against my ex and he told me that they can take my son away because I don't allow him to see my son. Is that possible or no?
mary - 4-May-12 @ 7:40 PM
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