The Maintenance Act is being amended to ensure fathers can apply for child maintenance at the Magistrate’s Court, one of several initiatives the Ministry of Family is diligently working on to further assist in the care and protection of children.
This disclosure came today from Minister of Family, Stephen Lashley, as he addressed a ceremony to announce Barbados’ Champion for Children, attorney Faith Marshall-Harris, at UN House.
Lashley acknowledged that some families did not receive maintenance because some men refused to make payments to the court, but he stressed that many men were providing the needed care for their children and contributing to the household in several ways.
“What is worrying, however, is that I still hear the complaint that some men continue to be denied access to their children or that the mother does not provide maintenance for the child. Children in some instances are, therefore, prevented from forming relationships with their fathers.
“I wish to indicate that the office of the Attorney-General is at a very advanced stage in addressing these matters by effecting various amendments to the law,” he disclosed.
Lashley noted that Parliament recently approved the introduction of a Child Maintenance Fund to, in the first instance, assist those mothers whose child support payments had been delayed.