alexa LEGAL AID: What can I do to compel him to pay child support? - Daily Nation

LEGAL AID: What can I do to compel him to pay child support?

Wednesday October 30 2019

The father of my child has done everything he can to avoid child support. PHOTO| FILE

The father of my child has done everything he can to avoid child support. PHOTO| FILE NATION MEDIA GROUP

ERIC MUKOYA
By ERIC MUKOYA
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Dear Sir,

Thanks for everything. The father of my child has done everything he can to avoid child support.  On many occasions, I have provided the information about where he’s employed.

This last time it was explained to me that basically he was working for his own company therefore we could only send a letter asking for payment.

I don't understand why not, if it's a federal offense for a company to not comply or if a person assists in avoiding payment why does this change if he is the owner?

Is there anything I can do? Since he is s truck driver, I'm not sure why they are not suspending his license until payment is received.

  

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Your question sums up the painful and burdensome processes single parents go through to provide a conducive environment and foundation for growth and development of their children while at the same time ensuring the adamant party (parent) is not let off the hook.

Indeed, your question raises three legal and procedural issues that relate to rights of a child, parental responsibility, and mechanisms of enforcing parental responsibility. While we are cognisant of your frustrations, we will contextualise your question to suit to the Kenyan scenario.

Article 53 of Constitution of Kenya 2010 guarantees every child the right parental care and protection by both parents and mother whether they are married or not.

The Children Act goes further to outline parental care to include provision of basic needs, education, health care, guidance, name among others.

It therefore follows that, parental responsibility is automatic and self – activating and cannot exercised at the whims of either parent.

In the event one party (parent) abdicates his/her role, the aggrieved party through an advocate of the High Court can file a petition in court seeking child maintenance orders.

Courts however should come as a matter of last resort since other avenues like alternative dispute resolution mechanisms through the Directorate of Children Service have proved productive.

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Eric Mukoya is the Executive Director, Legal Resources Foundation Trust. Do you have a legal problem you would like addressed by a lawyer? Please email your queries to [email protected]  

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