Child Maintenance in Pakistan (also known as Child Support) is the payments made by the father of the child to his children. If the children are young, these are paid to the mother (or whoever has custody of the child/children). If the father has custody of the children, then he has no need to pay child support to anyone as he would be maintaining the kids financially himself.
This article on Child Maintenance in Pakistan on how the Child Support System works in Pakistan and will give you a rough idea of what to do if you are either seeking child support or indeed are paying child maintenance. If you have other questions, queries or concerns, feel free to reach out to us.
Who is responsible for paying Child Support in Pakistan?
In Pakistan, Child Support is exclusively paid by the father, and this is a non-negotiable and non-disputable rule. The Holy Quran (where the laws of Sharia derive from) clearly states this. A woman may choose to pay for their child, but the legal responsibility falls squarely on the father.
In the event the father is unable to pay child maintenance, then the grandfather of the child/children would be bound to pay. This is usually a monthly payment made to the mother via her bank account, or the child/children’s special bank account, through court (in person), or through the treasury (through a 32a Challan form).
How do you apply for Child Support or Child Maintenance in Pakistan?
Child Maintenance in Pakistan can be applied through court and the local Union Council. Contrary to popular belief, as per section 9 of the Muslim Family Law Ordinance 1961, if the mother or grandmother of the child requires financial assistance to raise the kids, they can approach the Chairman of their Union Council. Alternatively, they can approach the court also with an application for Child Support.
Another myth in Pakistan is that a Mother needs to file a divorce or khula before she can claim child maintenance from the father; This is completely untrue and false. A mother can file a case during her marriage also. A Father is bound to pay monthly maintenance whether the marriage is intact or not.
How much is the average Child Support Payment in Pakistan?
This is a grey area and a great question. In Pakistan, there is no fixed yardstick on how much monthly maintenance is for the country, as it’s usually based on the father’s income and disposable income. Disposable income is what the father is left with (from his salary, monthly) after he has met his expenses.
During a trial, the judge may impose an “interim” amount of child maintenance during the pendency of a case. The amount of child support can increase or decrease, which can only be assessed by a judge on a case. For example, if the father loses his job, or if a child suddenly requires constant medical care, this would then lead to the maintenance amount to be increased or decreased, accordingly.
In 2018 the Supreme Court of Pakistan passed a ruling stating that a father must pay Rs.5,000 a month for miscellaneous expenses as well as School fees, Uniforms, Pick and Drop, and Medical expenses. This rule was excellent, but if a father is earning Rs.20,000 a month, and he has 4 children, it would be impossible to implement. This is why each case is assessed on a case-by-case basis.
How long does a father pay Child Maintenance?
In Pakistan, it is observed that Child Support and Child Maintenance Payments are usually made until the Son is 18 years of age and until the daughter is 21 years of age. The father may also be responsible for covering marriage expenses for his children, depending on the social status of the father.
If the mother (or custodial parent, if it’s not the mother but a female relative) has not received child maintenance payments for some time, the court could back-date payments and oblige the father to pay it. For example, if a mother has not received child support payments in Pakistan for 2 years, the court can rule judgment on the father paying for the last 2 years, as well as the future payments.
What happens if one parent is abroad?
In the event that one parent is abroad, the other parent may file a case to retrieve child maintenance payments in Pakistan. For example, if the mother is abroad and the father is in Pakistan, she may file a case through a Special Power of Attorney in Pakistan to retrieve funds from him.
In the event that the mother is in Pakistan and the Father is abroad, she can either file a case in Pakistan, get an ex-parte decision and implement it in the country the father is in OR (through a Power of Attorney) file a case in the country the father is in. In the United Arab Emirates, we can assist clients with claiming child support in Dubai From Pakistan in both ways.
What happens if the Father doesn’t pay?
In many cases, a father may try to evade payments, so it is important that women know their rights in these instances. Firstly, the woman can ask the court to retrieve the father (through a warrant) under section 100, where the Police would trace the father and summon him to court. If he cannot be found, then his father (the children’s grandfather) would be summoned to court.
If both options fail, then the next option would be to seize the father’s assets and possessions. Ultimately, it is a known fact that courts are sympathetic to women and will go as far as they legally can to ensure a mother is financially able to look after their children. If you are facing such an issue (either where you need a lawyer to pursue your case or if your current lawyer is unable to get your child maintenance in Pakistan in a timely manner) feel free to reach out to us for free legal advice.
Consequences for not paying Child Support in Pakistan
The main objectives of the court are to get financial aid to the mother, for the sake of the children. In this pursuit, the courts could imprison the father (as a punishment, to ensure that he makes future payments) but this would not resolve the financial issues. A father behind bars wouldn’t resolve the issue, as he would be unable to work. Usually, he would be released on bail until the amount is fully paid.
During Child Custody cases in Pakistan, the conduct of both parents is continuously monitored and recorded to decide the final outcome. When a father regularly pays late or misses payments, he may lose his right to keep full custody of his children. Having said that, he cannot lose his right to child visitation in Pakistan due to the non-payment of maintenance.
How to find out more about Child Support or Child Maintenance in Pakistan
To speak to one of our Family Lawyers who can guide you on Child Support in Pakistan or Child Maintenance in Pakistan, you can download our App or contact us on 0308 5510031 ( +92 308 551 0031 if you’re calling from abroad).
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