Empowering Separated Mothers for Child and Adolescent Well-being

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Single mothers who are primary carers with no co-parent at all following separation and divorce. Women struggling to raise their children without the presence of the other parent get help in collecting child maintenance (child support) avoid poverty, homelessness and promote the well-being of thelr children.

Child Maintenance (Child Support)

Child maintenance (child support) is regular payments paid by the non residential parent (mostly fathers) for the purpose of providing financial support for the care and needs of the child. If your child is not living with you, you are required by law to make child maintenance payments to the residential parent.

Why pay Child Maintenance?

Payments of child maintenance can make a significant difference in the lives of children after separation. Parents are legally responsible for the financial security of their children even if you don’t see them or if agreement about access to the children happened separately. Visitation and child maintenance are separate issues in the eyes of the court.

Children of separated mothers have poorer home environments and life outcomes. Studies have shown that adolescents cope the worst with the separation of the parents. They often struggle most with the change and may even turn away from their family entirely dealing with the situation on their own. Payments of child maintenance can help make adjustments easier, keep children focused, prevent anti-social behaviour and foster better family relationships.

Child Maintenance Age

In Nigeria, child maintenance ends when the child reaches 21. However, maintenance order may be made in favour of a child above 21 years in exceptional circumstances. It terminates when the child is 18 under the children’s law.

 

Help with Child Maintenance Arrangements

Private Arrangements

This is a financial arrangement between you and the other parent of your child. This family-based arrangement helps you make decisions about financial support for your children following your separation and reach an agreement. If you are finding it difficult to arrive at a decision on your own you can go to mediation.

 

Divorce Mediation

A free service to help separated parents make decisions that suit their own circumstances. They make their own financial arrangements regarding the care and needs of the children without going to court assisted by a neutral third party mediator. The mediator helps estranged parents negotiate their own agreements and support their children’s health and well-being.

 

The Benefits of Family Mediation

Facilitating Communication

The process helps parents focus on effectively communicating with each other. The mediator who acts as a neutral third party facilitates discussion to help parties come to agreement. This fosters cooperative communication in future.

Satisfactory Outcomes

In mediation parties are generally more satisfied with solutions that have been mutually agreed on by both of them as opposed to settlements that are imposed. This is often the case in court where parties have no choice but to accept the judgment made by the judge which they may not be happy with.

High Rate of Compliance

Parties who have reached their own agreement in mediation are more likely to comply with its terms than those whose resolution has been imposed by the court. The settlement is more satisfactory to both parties as such enhances compliance.

Managing Interactions

The mediator manages interactions between the parties.  Mediation can be arranged at a venue convenient to the parties either in the same room or separately. The mediator talking to the disputants privately guiding them towards a settlement.