'That's what we as men are expected to do': Reader's defend teen boy suing mom for maintenance money
Our readers make equally rational cases as to whether or not a teen suing his mom for maintenance money is ridiculous or fair but the real question is, "Who is paying his legal fees?"
"What is the issue here? The amount demanded or that the mother has to pay papgeld? (iStock)
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We weren't lying when we said that maintenance money was a divisive topic but a teen suing his mom for papgeld wasn't what we had in mind. 

We recently shared the story of a teen who thought suing his mom for maintenance money made perfect sense, and so did his dad. 

And while we expected a mixed bag of reactions, we were surprised to find that more than a few of our readers were sympathetic to the boy. 

With the exception of a few parents who were raised with the "spare the rod, spoil the child” mindset, here's a look at what our readers had to say. 


Want to add your two cents? Read Teen suing mom for maintenance money? We have a lot of questions. Number one: How dare you? and let us know your opinion. We might publish your email. 


"So let’s not judge until we know the full story"

"Before judging the boy, let us understand his circumstances and ask why? I do believe though, that a lot of his demands are ridiculous and he should only be asking for the basics. 

This is my and my son’s story. My son is 19-years-old and moved out at the beginning of the year to study. To cut a long story short, I contribute the following: 

  • Half of his tuition (R25K) paid-up; his mother refuses to pay the other half and the school is threatening to kick him out 
  • R 3700 a month for accommodation, his mother refuses to pay half 
  • R 4000 (±) a month for living and transport expenses, his mother refuses to pay 

With all these expenses I am financially in a hole. My son is at his wit's end, because he knows I am financially cash strapped and that I cannot give more than what I am currently giving, and his mother is refusing to help in any way. 

He also wants to take her to court, just to get her to contribute towards the basics. That’s all! 

She does pay maintenance of R2 450 a month, which hardly covers half of his current living expenses. She is also the same person who took me to court for maintenance for our two sons. Even though they were staying with me permanently and she was not paying maintenance as decreed by the court.

At the time of her going to court, she owed R100k (±) in maintenance arrears. So let’s not judge until we know the full story and both sides of the story." 

- Anonymous Dad, Parent24 reader 

"He is very lucky he is not my child"

"Wow. What next? Why does he think he is entitled to this from his mother and who gave him the s*#t advice to sue?

He must go and find work so that he can appreciate the value of money.  If his father is supporting his cause, what is he contributing?

He is very lucky he is not my child. " 

- Ayesha, Parent24 reader

"I can understand helping with varsity fees. But not all the rest" 

"He needs to get a part-time job for his luxuries. And how much does his father pay? Surely board and groceries come from him. I can understand helping with varsity fees. But not all the rest. Hope the judge gives him an earful." - Jean, Facebook user


Also see: 'Can I recoup the maintenance money my father never paid my mother?' A legal expert responds

"Now that the shoe is on the other foot, goal post are changed?"

"What is the issue here? The amount demanded or that the mother has to pay papgeld?

How many fathers are paying papgeld for children at tertiary who have reached the age of maturity? A lot [of people] pay till the child can support himself or herself and considering the job prospects in this country, that could be forever.

Here is the breakdown:

  • R2 200 for tuition fees
  • R1 906 for medical aid
  • R620 for clothes
  • R700 for lunches (out, he has 2k for groceries, he can carry a lunchbox)
  • R50 for extramural activities (out)
  • R500 for pocket money
  • R500 for vacations and relaxation (We can take this out) 
  • R3 000 for groceries and personal care, (reduce to R 2000)
  • R3 404 for accommodation
  • New total R10 630

I think since she is not staying with the boy, she should pay R6 378. Living with dad could mean that when schools are closed he stays at his dad's place and has an apartment close to school.

If he stays with dad full-time still she has to contribute a portion of the bond, I think it's one part. That's what we as men are expected to do, now that the shoe is on the other foot, goal post are changed? NOOOOOOO [sic]. The mother must pay what is equitable. I support the boy 100%."

- Ephraim, Parent24 reader

"It doesn't matter how much he claims"

"Father's pay maintenance every day and I don't see this drama. Court will determine the suitable value, it doesn't matter how much he claims. Let the mother (parent) support her kids like every biological parent should." - Albert, Facebook user

And the ultimate question is:

"Who is paying his legal fees?" - Linda, Facebook user

Chat back:

Read Teen suing mom for maintenance money? We have a lot of questions. Number one: How dare you? and let us know your opinion. We might publish your email. 

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