The mother of my two children (a son and a daughter) does not want me to check on the kids at all and she doesn’t allow them to visit me.
I was instructed to pay P300-00 every month for child-maintenance but I was unemployed and unable to pay for many months.
Fortunately I got another job about four months ago and have started paying what I owe for the previous months. I am really trying my best to do what is right…but my ex is bitter and is making life very difficult for me…so much so that I’m always scared she’ll have me arrested for the months I did not pay maintenance.
I’m losing weight because of this issue and I have many sleepless nights just thinking about my children, whom I love very much.
I know fully well that as a father they are my responsibility and I would like to pay regularly until I have finished paying off the child-maintenance debt and of course continue to pay the monthly installment as agreed.
This case was heard at Lobatse court. How do I go about making arrangements to pay an affordable amount on a monthly basis, now that I have a job?
My son doesn’t get along very well with his mum and wants to come and stay with me but the mother is refusing. I think she’s just trying to make me feel the pinch because we’re no longer on good terms.
I don’t want to fight with her; I just want us to behave like adults and act in the best interests of our children. It seems she forgets that her hostile attitude towards me is hurting not only me but the children too.
She just wants child-maintenance from me but will not allow me to bond with my children and play a meaningful role in their young lives.
I really need help to address this issue but I earn very little (P1 100-00 per month) and therefore cannot afford a lawyer.
The school holidays and festive season will be upon us soon and I know that as always the children, especially my son, will want to spend the holidays with me but their mother will refuse as usual.
What can I do in order to gain access to my children as their mother seems hell-bent on keeping us apart? Please advise urgently.
Firstly, I have asked one of our readers who has experienced a similar problem with his ex to contact you and offer his support and encouragement so that you should not be engulfed by feelings of hopelessness.
He was denied access to his child and even prevented from providing for his daughter by the child’s mother and maternal grandmother but he eventually won a prolonged battle with the mother of his daughter.
He now has full custody of his child and helps other men going through the ordeal of being denied access to their children.
He will share his story with you and be your crutch to lean on, every step of the way until you’re awarded visitation rights, at the very least.
It’s very sad that you’re losing weight and have sleepless nights just thinking about your children, but do not despair…help is on the way.
Secondly, you need to take this matter in your own hands and fight for your rights. That is the only way you’re going to win; the rest of us can only offer guidance and a support system so that you do not feel all alone and overwhelmed, but the fight for access to your children must be waged by you.
I urge you to be a man and a father that your children will be proud of in the future, knowing that you did not give up on them. I made some inquiries for you and was informed that you need to do the following:
• Go to the registry office at the court where you were instructed to pay the P300-00 child-maintenance fee; they will direct you to the relevant office where you can state and plead your case. Be sure to have your case number for ease of reference. Be sure to have your pay slip with you as well to show how much you earn per month. Show them a breakdown of your monthly expenditure; once they know what you earn and spend on a monthly basis and they see that you’re doing your best to make amends after defaulting on your payments, they will be very understanding. They will then draw up a payment plan with you for a reasonable amount that is affordable to you for your monthly installment to pay off your debt.
• Also tell them about the ordeal that your ex is putting you through by denying you access to your son and daughter; they will assist/guide you on what procedure to follow so as to get visitation rights. If you’d like to explore the possibility of being granted custody of your son or both children, again this is something you can discuss with the officials and they will be able to give you guidance as to what steps you need to take.
In addition, please contact MenEngage Botswana on 395 7763 and ask for the Advisor Mr. Sechele to find out if/how their organization can assist you or provide support for you as you fight for your right to have access to your children. Alternatively, leave a message via inbox on the MenEngage Botswana Facebook page.
Every child has the right to enjoy the love of both parents and no one should deny them that, especially not because of personal vendettas.