What is child support?
Child support or maintenance is money paid to a custodian parent for the upkeep of a child/children. This means that the person who doesn’t live with the child pays the person living with the child. Additionally, some may call it co-parenting.
The Children act (2017) provides for better child care. It became legal when the new Kenyan constitution started to be in operation. The act dictates that every parent has a duty to provide basic needs to a child with equal rights.
There are two options for getting child maintenance. First, is when the parent willing and religiously supports the child. However. in many instances, this does not happen. Therefore, the custodian parent, mostly the mother is required to file for child support. This article will inform you of the latter.
Requirements for filing Child support or maintenance in Kenya
For anybody to file for child maintenance in Kenya you need proof that the other party is responsible. In this case, you need the birth certificate of the child. In case the childbirth certificates don’t read the father’s details you need DNA proof or testimonies of why you believe the person is the father or mother.
You need your written statement explaining in detail why you need the person to pay for child support. In the statement, you will indicate the nature of your relationship and all the information about the other party.
Where do you file for child maintenance?
First, you will go to the area administration like the district officer’s office in your area. In the office, there is the children’s protection office. You will report your case there.
At the Children’s office, present your documents and statement. Upon receiving the documents, the officer will issue you with a letter to deliver to the father/mother in question.
Thereafter, the father/mother will be summoned by the children’s officer. The parents will be given a date to appear at the Children’s office. In case the father/mother doesn’t honor the summon, the petitioner will be given lawyers to prepare for a court case on child support.
Additionally, the petitioner can opt to represent themself at the court and pay the filing fee of KSh 10,000 or pay for a lawyer to pursue the case for her/him.
The case on child maintenance is deemed urgent and hence heard and determined with all the proof that the person neglected the child.
In the determination, the parent who neglected the child is ordered to pay for the child’s support each month without fail depending on his capabilities.
Who is eligible to pay child support?
Well, you may think that some individuals are excluded from paying for child maintenance. You are far from the truth.
Everybody is eligible to pay for child maintenance whether employed or not.
Consequences of not paying child support
If the father/mother fails to honor the court and is in contempt of court he risks jail term and his property being auctioned to support the child. If he doesn’t have any property he risks his parent’s property being auctioned to pay for the child support.
Alternatively, the employer may be instructed to withhold child maintenance and direct it to a designated account.