Guardianship and spousal maintenance enquiry
My ex husband resides in Germany. I was arrested and sentenced 5 years under section 2761i for culpable homicide. I was in an abusive relationship with an alcoholic which resulted in the accidental death of my life partner. I signed over guardianship of our two children to him. In the court documents he stated he would bring them to me 2x per year. He has not. I also have supervised whatsapp contact with them every Sunday (on his phone). I have reminded him that he still owes me spousal maintenance as set out in our divorce agreement. No reply. There was no clause stating when this maintenance ends. Please I like help with that as well as what else I’m entitled to. I have not seen my children since 17 Dec 2015. Please note I signed over guardianship and not custody of my children. I have all documentation with me, divorce agreement as well as guardianship papers. Does guardianship automatically release you from child maintenance? The guardianship papers were also signed under duress due to my circumstances. Is he not in contradiction of a high court order by not bringing my children to see me? What about emotional trauma?
Section 24 of the Children’s Act 38 of 2005, deals with the assignment of guardianship. You have to approach the High Court in your area only, for help.
Regarding your question “Does guardianship automatically release you from child maintenance?” The children are under his custody and care, and he does not need to pay maintenance in respect of the children to you. As a matter of fact, he should be the one claiming maintenance for the children from you because as a parent you must also pay subject to your means.
Spousal maintenance: not paying maintenance in terms of a maintenance order is a crime. Such maintenence comes to an end when the court makes an order to that effect. You can lay a charge at your local police station.