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Chasing papgeld
Do we need to spend the time and effort trying to get maintenance, wonders Masanda Peter.
I’ve heard so many stories of women who are at bitter ends fighting with their partners due to the refusal of men to pay maintenance for their kids. I have seen family members, friends and some of my colleagues frustrated trying to get their partners to pay child maintenance.

It’s a good thing that women remind men of their responsibility but really do we need to?

Do we need to waste time calling, mailing, speaking (sometimes shouting) or standing in long queues at the maintenance offices trying to get a grown up man to be responsible? Not all men are irresponsible, but this is directed at the irresponsible men out there.

I’m talking about the men who are just “sperm donors”, the ones who let their female partners stand for hours and hours in long queues in attempts to get them to acknowledge the financial responsibility they have to their kids. Oh, not forgetting that they could have spent this time with their kids instead of running after the papgeld.

I really wish that women would not run after these men. To me it’s simple; if you do not maintain the child, you lose access to the child.  Don’t be shocked.

If you do not maintain the child - of which some of the money would have gone towards buying food - how do you think the child survived all this time without it? As drastic as it might seem, I do not see why the men should be allowed access to the kids. I do not see this as depriving the child of a father but as far as I know and understand, fathers provide and support their kids.

Recently some people have been hit with retrenchments. I understand there’s a financial crisis out there but I still think that as a father one should make means to provide.  

I’ve heard that it’s not only men who are responsible for maintenance, these days you get fathers who are also fighting to have the mothers pay maintenance. I sympathise with you as well but I can only write about what seems to be more prevalent and in this case it’s mostly the mothers that run after men trying to get them to be responsible.

Be a survivor with your child and don’t waste your energy on him. You should be channelling all that energy towards raising your beautiful princes and princesses. I hope the men also remember that it’s not only about finances but being there emotionally for your child.

Do women spend too much effort running after maintenance?

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