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Child Maintenance

Posted on November 1, 2020 at 1:35 AM

Child maintenance is the sum of money periodically given either on a monthly basis or a four week basis to the resident parent by the non-resident parent.  Resident parent means the parent having the child residing with him/her and non-resident parent means the parent who has access or visitation rights to the child only. 


Child maintenance is not money given to the resident parent for her/himself but child maintenance is given to the resident parent to be used for the child.  Normally when one computes the sum to be given one takes into consideration things like clothing, food, water & electricity (proportionate), fuel (proportionate), Internet (proportionate) and other expenses incurred over a determinate period of time for the child as well as the salaries/income of the parents.  The amount arrived at needs o be shared by both parents.  Therefore, if the non-resident parent is paying X amount in child maintenance, it is equally expected that the resident parent pays the same X amount. 


At present, Maltese law does not provide a formula in which we can compute the expenses, salaries etc to come up with a determinate sum.  At the moment,  the sum to be determined, is either agreed upon by the parties themselves during mediation proceedings or else by the Court when one files an application in court.  However, child maintenance cannot be unsustainable for the person paying it.  One needs to take into account the non-resident parent's expenses and one must make sure that the non-resident parent will have enough money to live on.  One cannot cripple the non-resident parent.  The resident parent cannot expect the non-resident parent to pay for costs which the non-resident parent either has not consented to or does not afford or will cripple him/her.   When determining child maintenance one must take into account the children's lifestyle before the separation or relationship breakdown.  Ideally, that lifestyle is maintained as the children should not suffer financially because of their parents' breakdown.  However, in most cases, after a breakdown, the parties' financial lifestyle will change, and therefore, when determining child maintenance a compromise must be reached.


Maintenance does not normally include health and educational costs.  Therefore, these are not computed in the maintenance sum but the parents are expected to share these expenses between them.  However, one must keep in mind that the resident parent must communicate with the non-resident parent on these expenses.  If the parents enjoy joint care and custody, the resident parent has to communicate to the non-resident parent and should not present the non-resident parent with receipts for decisions which have already been taken by her/him.  If communication is sought, and such communication should be civil, then trust can be built and the parties can co-parent in the best interests of their child. 


Article written by Dr Ann Marie Mangion.


Categories: Maintenance, Family Law, Custody

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As from 20 September 2020 Mangion Legal will be publishing weekly Sunday articles on various legal aspects.

As from 8 June 2020 the office has reopened from its temporary closure due to COVID-19 and has resumed physical meetings whilst implementing safety and sanitization measures. Anyone coming into the office must be wearing a mask/visor.

As from 13 March 2020 the office is temporarily closed due to COVID-19 and this in an attempt to limit the spreading of the virus. However, the office will still assist clients remotely via SKYPE or Whatsapp Video calls.

As from 16 March 2020, the Maltese Law Courts have closed until further notice due to COVID-19. All legal time-limits have been temporarily suspended.

On 20 June 2019, Dr Mangion participated in the Council of Europe exercise on Child Participation, namely the Child Participation Tool held by the Ministry for the Family, Children's Rights and Social Security in collaboration with the Malta Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society.

On 1 October 2018, Lisa Micallef joined the office as a legal trainee.

On 17 January 2018, Dr Mangion attended the inauguration of the Judicial Year of the Ecclesiastical Tribunals of the Maltese Province at the Archbishop's Palace.

On 13 January 2018, Dr Mangion was a guest speaker on Radio 101's 'Ghazliet' discussing sexual harassment.

On 11 January 2018, Dr Mangion attended a public lecture on gender quotas in Ireland held by Dr Fiona Buckley of the University of Cork, organised by the Faculty of Social Wellbeing, at the University of Malta.

On 13 October 2017, Dr Mangion was a guest speaker on FLiving TV, 'Attwali' discussing criminal responsibility amongst minors.

On 4-8 October 2017, Dr Mangion went to a FAIR Project training session on immigrant children's rights access to justice organised by the ICJ at Ferney-Voltaire/Geneva.

On 15 September 2017 Dr Mangion attended Dontilla Mukamana's speech on genocidal rape in Rwanda as part of the Festival of Research 2017 held at the University of Leicester.

On 6 September 2017 Dr Mangion's paper on confidentiality and treatment of young people was published in Kevin Aquilina, Peter Mallia and Bridgit Ellul (eds), Contemporary  Issues in Medical Law  & Ethics: Conference Proceedings 2012-2015 (University of Malta 2017).

On 19 August 2017 Dr Mangion was a guest speaker on Radio 101's 'Ghazliet' discussing juvenile crime.

On 9 April 2017 Dr Mangion was invited as a guest speaker on Radio 101's 'Ghazliet' discussing the family.

On 16-17 February 2017 Dr Mangion attended a two-day training session: "Fostering Access to Immigrant Children's Rights (FAIR) Project organised by Aditus and the International Commission of Jurists.

On 24 December 2016 Dr Mangion along with Johanna Cauchi held the last radio programme from the long-running programme, Il-Ligi u l-Familja on Radio RTK (103 FM).

On 1 October 2016 Dr Mangion was asked to make an intervention on the legal implications of gay parenting on Radio 101's radio programme Ghazliet.

On 5 September 2016 Dr Mangion was invited on Campus FM's radio programme Ghazliet to discuss children's rights.

On 11 June 2016 Dr Mangion was asked to give her opinion on children's views in court during the radio programme Ghandi xi Nghid.

On 21 April 2016 Dr Mangion was invited on TVM's Skjetti alongside Pauline Miceli, the Commissioner of Children and Claire Agius Ordway to discuss children's rights.

On 7 March 2016 Dr Mangion attended a lecture organised by the Chamber of Advocates on Act IV of 2016 - an act to amend law relating to justice reform in the sphere of civil procedure.

On 8 February 2016 Dr Mangion started a course entitled Forensic Science and Criminal Justice as part of her CPD.

On 3 February 2016 Dr Mangion attended a seminar on annulment procedural reforms organized by the Chamber of Advocates.

Articles

Dr Mangion has published a paper entitled, 'Confidentiality and Treatment of Young People: Proposals for Amendment 1' in Kevin Aquilina, Peter Mallia and Bridgit Ellul (eds), Contemporary Issues in Medical Law & Ethics: Conference Proceedings 2012-2015 (University of Malta 2017).

Dr Mangion has publshed the following paper, 'Confidentiality and Treatment of Young Adults. Proposals for Amendments: the Gillick Proposition' in the Journal of the Malta College of Family Doctors, (Vol. 4, Issue 1, May 2015)

Hamid Reza Salehi and Ann Marie Mangion have published an article called, Legal Aspects of Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery in the peer-reviewed International Journal of Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Science. (Int J Adv Stu Hum Soci Scie. 2014; 2(2):111-115)

Ann Marie Mangion, 'Young Adults Should Have a Say', The Times (Valletta, 5 April 2013)

Radio & TV

Discussing sexual harassment on Radio 101's 'Ghazliet' discussing sexual harassment (13 January 2018 - live).

Discussing criminal responsibility amongst minors on FLiving TV, 'Attwali' (13 October 2017 - live).

Discussing the family of Radio 101's Ghazliet (9 April 2017 - live).

Discussing children's rights on Campus FM's radio programme Ghazliet (5 September 2016 - recorded).

Asked to give her opinion on children's views in court during the radio programme Ghandi xi Nghid (11 June 2016 - live).

Discussing children's rights on TVM's Skjetti (21 April 2016 - recorded).


Seminars & Conferences

Dr Mangion attended a public lecture on gender quotas in Ireland held by Dr Fiona Buckley of the University of Cork, organised by the Faculty of Social Wellbeing, at the University of Malta (11 January 2018).

Dr Mangion went to a FAIR Project training session on immigrant children's rights access to justice organised by the ICJ at Ferney-Voltaire/Geneva (4-8 October 2017).

Dr Mangion attended Dontilla Mukamana's speech on genocidal rape in Rwanda as part of the Festival of Research 2017 held at the University of Leicester (15 September 2017).

Dr Mangion attended a two-day training session: "Fostering Access to Immigrant Children's Rights (FAIR) Project organised by Aditus and the International Commission of Jurists (16-17 February 2017).

Dr Mangion gave a talk on Matrimonial Regimes to post-Cana group (4 December 2016).

Dr Mangion gave a talk on Consent, Confidentiality and Disclosure at the Maltese Curia (23 June 2016).

Dr Mangion attended a lecture organised by the Chamber of Advocates on Act IV of 2016 - an act to amend law relating to justice reform in the sphere of civil procedure (7 March 2016).

Dr Mangion attended a seminar on annulment procedural reforms organized by the Chamber of Advocate (3 February 2016).