Child Support: How to prepare for your case.

INTRODUCTION

In law school, we are always told that cases are won or lost at the preparation stage. The biggest part in preparing for a case is in the gathering of the relevant documentary evidence to support your case. Cases are worn or lost on the basis of evidence. So whether you represent yourself or have an advocate to represent you, you must consider the nature and type of evidence that you will intend to call. The purpose of this article is to teach you on the necessary preparation of evidence before you move to court to claim child support.

BASIC EXPENSES OF A CHILD

Under Section 23 of the Children’s Act, Parental Responsibility includes the duty to provide for the following basic needs and expenses:

Adequare Diet (food)
Shelter
Clothing
Medical care including immunization
Education and guidance

As you prepare for your case, you will need to have all these expenses at the back of your mind.  it is always advisable to have a file or a journal recording each and every expense that is incurred in the upbringing of the child.

I have been in court and seen many cases where litigants prepare documents in court with exaggerated amounts in terms of upkeep, which are not backed up by tangible evidence showing actual expenditure incurred on a child. Courts tend to believe and take more seriously litigants who can actually demonstrate that their claims have a basis.

PRINCIPLES THE COURT USES IN MAKING ORDERS

When making either a custody or a maintenance order, the Children’s Act requires the court to take into consideration the following principles:

The ascertainable feelings and wishes of the child concerned with reference to the child’s age and understanding.
The child’s physical, emotional and educational needs and in particular, where the child has a disability, the ability of any person or institution to provide any special care or medical attention that may be required for the child.
The likely effect on a child of a change of circumstance
The child’s age, sex, religious persuasion and cultural background.
The harm the child may have suffered, or is at risk of suffering.
The ability of any parent, or any other person in relation to whom the court considers the question to be relevant, to provide for the child.
The customs and practices of the community to which the child belongs
The best interest of the child

When preparing for your case, it is important to take all these eight principles listed above into consideration. You need to ask yourself whether the claim you are putting before the Children’s Court can properly be granted by the court, taking into account the above factors.

UNDERSTANDING TIMING

Children cases are about timing. A good and winning strategy will need you to understand how to effectively use the element of time to your advantage.  As a principle, it is always better to commence a matter while you have the physical custody care and control of the children. 

The reasoning behind this is simple. Depending on the nature of the orders that you will be seeking from the court, the court could make a “status quo”  order. This means that the circumstances that were in existence as at the time of the making of the order with regard to custody and support, would remain in force at least until the Application or entire matter is heard and determined. A wise Applicant will thus wait for a time where prevailing circumstances are favourable in order to move the court. This will ensure that an Applicant will be able to enjoy any status quo order that may be given.

CONCLUSION

The more you prepare for your case, the better the chances are that you will get the orders that you seek from the court. Above all, let’s remember that courts will always strive to put the best interest of the child above all other considerations. At Begi’s Law Offices & Chambers, we are here to ensure that you get the very best out of your case. Are you preparing to sue? If yes, then take advantage of our free e-consult portal to reach out to us and we shall guide you on how to effectively prepare to win.

 

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