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Old 15-05-2011, 10:30 AM
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Re: All you need to know about the WOMEN'S CHARTER

PART VIII
MAINTENANCE OF WIFE AND CHILDREN

Duty of parents to maintain children
68. Except where an agreement or order of court otherwise provides, it shall be the duty of a parent to maintain or contribute to the maintenance of his or her children, whether they are in his or her custody or the custody of any other person, and whether they are legitimate or illegitimate, either by providing them with such accommodation, clothing, food and education as may be reasonable having regard to his or her means and station in life or by paying the cost thereof.[30/96]

Court may order maintenance of wife and children
69. —(1) Any married woman whose husband neglects or refuses to provide her reasonable maintenance may apply to a District Court or a Magistrate’s Court and that Court may, on due proof thereof, order the husband to pay a monthly allowance or a lump sum for her maintenance.[30/96]

(2) A District Court or a Magistrate’s Court may, on due proof that a parent has neglected or refused to provide reasonable maintenance for his child who is unable to maintain himself, order that parent to pay a monthly allowance or a lump sum for the maintenance of that child.[30/96]

(3) An application for the maintenance of a child under subsection (2) may be made by —

(a) any person who is a guardian or has the actual custody of the child;

(b) where the child has attained the age of 21 years, by the child himself;

(c) where the child is below the age of 21 years, any of his siblings who has attained the age of 21 years; or

(d) any person appointed by the Minister.[30/96]

(4) The court, when ordering maintenance for a wife or child under this section, shall have regard to all the circumstances of the case including the following matters:

(a) the financial needs of the wife or child;

(b) the income, earning capacity (if any), property and other financial resources of the wife or child;

(c) any physical or mental disability of the wife or child;

(d) the age of each party to the marriage and the duration of the marriage;

(e) the contributions made by each of the parties to the marriage to the welfare of the family, including any contribution made by looking after the home or caring for the family;

(f) the standard of living enjoyed by the wife or child before the husband or parent, as the case may be, neglected or refused to provide reasonable maintenance for the wife or child;

(g) in the case of a child, the manner in which he was being, and in which the parties to the marriage expected him to be, educated or trained; and

(h) the conduct of each of the parties to the marriage, if the conduct is such that it would in the opinion of the court be inequitable to disregard it.[30/96]

(5) The court shall not make an order under subsection (2) for the benefit of a child who has attained the age of 21 years or for a period that extends beyond the day on which the child will attain that age unless the court is satisfied that the provision of the maintenance is necessary because —

(a) of a mental or physical disability of the child;

(b) the child is or will be serving full-time national service;

(c) the child is or will be or (if an order were made under subsection (2)) would be receiving instruction at an educational establishment or undergoing training for a trade, profession or vocation, whether or not while in gainful employment; or

(d) special circumstances, other than those stated in paragraphs (a), (b) and (c), exist which justify the making of the order. [30/96]

(6) An order under subsection (2) ceases to be in force on the day on which the child attains the age of 21 years unless the order is expressed to continue in force for a period ending after that day.[30/96]

(7) An order under subsection (2) may direct payment to the person having custody or care and control of the child or the trustees of the child. [30/96]

(8) When ordering the payment of maintenance under this section or at any time after the making of the order, the court may, if it considers just, order the person liable to pay the maintenance to secure the whole or any part of it by vesting any property belonging to the person in trustees upon trust to pay the maintenance or any part of it out of the income from the property, and subject thereto, in trust for the settlor. [30/96]

(9) The court shall have the powers conferred by section 85 in respect of proceedings relating to maintenance under this section. [30/96]

Duty to maintain child accepted as member of family
70. —(1) Where a person has accepted a child who is not his child as a member of his family, it shall be his duty to maintain that child while he remains a child, so far as the father or the mother of the child fails to do so, and the court may make such orders as may be necessary to ensure the welfare of the child. [26/80]

(2) The duty imposed by subsection (1) shall cease if the child is taken away by his father or mother.[26/80]

(3) Any sums expended by a person maintaining that child shall be recoverable as a debt from the father or mother of the child.[26/80]

(4) An application for an order under subsection (1) may be made by —

(a) any person who is a guardian or has the actual custody of the child;

(b) where the child has attained the age of 21 years, the child himself;

(c) where the child is below the age of 21 years, any of his siblings who has attained the age of 21 years; or

(d) any person appointed by the Minister.[30/96]

(5) Subsections (4) to (9) of section 69 shall apply, with the necessary modifications, to the making of an order under this section.[30/96]

Enforcement of maintenance order
71. —(1) If any person fails to make one or more payments required to be made under a maintenance order, the court which made the order may do all or any of the following:

(a) for every breach of the order by warrant direct the amount due to be levied in the manner by law provided for levying fines imposed by a Magistrate’s Court;

(b) sentence him to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one month for each month"s allowance remaining unpaid; and

(c) make a garnishee order in accordance with the rules made under this Act.[30/96]

(2) A sentence of imprisonment ordered under subsection (1)(b) shall not affect or diminish the obligation of the person against whom the maintenance order is made to make the payment or payments under the maintenance order which he has failed to make, except that the court may, if it thinks fit, reduce the amount of any such payments.[30/96]

(3) A maintenance order made by the High Court may be enforced by a District Court in accordance with subsection (1) as if that order had been made by the District Court, except that a District Court shall have no power to vary an order of the High Court.[26/80]

Rescission and variation of order
72. —(1) On the application of any person receiving or ordered to pay a monthly allowance under this Part and on proof of a change in the circumstances of that person, his wife or child, or for other good cause being shown to the satisfaction of the court, the court by which the order was made may rescind the order or may vary it as it thinks fit.

(2) Without prejudice to the extent of the discretion conferred upon the court by subsection (1), the court may, in considering any application made under this section, take into consideration any change in the general cost of living which may have occurred between the date of the making of the order sought to be varied and the date of the hearing of the application.

Power of court to vary agreement for maintenance of child
73. The court may, at any time and from time to time, vary the terms of any agreement relating to the maintenance of a child, whether made before or after 1st June 1981, notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in that agreement, where it is satisfied that it is reasonable and for the welfare of the child to do so.[30/96]

Application of section 121
74. Section 121 shall apply, with the necessary modifications, to any order for the payment of maintenance under this Part.[30/96]

Application of Act to orders made under repealed Minor Offences Ordinance, etc.
75. —(1) All orders made under section 37 of the repealed Minor Offences Ordinance (Cap. 24, 1936 Ed.) or under section 2 of the repealed Married Women and Children (Maintenance) Ordinance (Cap. 44, 1955 Ed.) and in force on 15th September 1961 shall be deemed to have been made under this Part by a District Court or a Magistrate’s Court, as the case may be, and the provisions of this Part shall apply to the same accordingly.

(2) Upon an application to vary any order made under section 37 of the repealed Minor Offences Ordinance (Cap. 24, 1936 Ed.) or under section 2 of the repealed Married Women and Children (Maintenance) Ordinance (Cap. 44, 1955 Ed.), the court may make under section 72 any order which it could have made upon an application under section 69 or under section 2 of the repealed Married Women and Children (Maintenance) Ordinance.
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Last edited by Big Sexy; 15-05-2011 at 11:53 AM.