Receiving child support when father is not working

| 04/12/2017

I have a child-maintenance question. You mention attachment to earnings if the person is employed. What if the person is self-employed or unemployed or quits the job just before the first attachment of earnings is due? How does the mother of the child receive the child maintenance owed?

Auntie’s answer: This question follows on from a previous column on this topic (see Enforcing a child-maintenance order). The Attachment of Earnings Order (AEO) can still be applied if the father is self-employed. A Judicial Administration official explained that the business would become the “employer” and would fall under the AEO.

If his employment changes, the father is obligated to inform the court, which will then send the AEO to the new employer, though that notification does not always happen, unfortunately.

If the father quits his job, the AEO can no longer be enforced against the old employer but, again unfortunately, the person does not always tell the court about leaving one job and taking up another, which could lead to the maintenance funds going into arrears.

At that point, the mother can take the case back to court, which can then order that the arrears be paid. If the man says he is unemployed, the magistrate or judge may require him to provide proof to the courts that he is looking for work.

The Judicial Administration official also explained that the outcome of each case is left to the magistrate. If, for example, the decision is to keep the matter under review and on a review date the father’s breach of the AEO is before the court, the magistrate could order a prison term. If there was no date set for a review, then the mother could apply to the court for committal to prison or other orders.


Category: Ask Auntie, Legal Questions

Comments (6)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Here’s a progressive thought. Since the Dad is not working, perhaps the child should stay with him, and then you wouldn’t need child support. In fact then you would need to pay it.

    • Anonymous says:

      He’s probably working and lying about it. That’s what my ex always do.

  2. Anonymous says:

    You cant get blood from a turnip.

  3. Anonymous says:

    My ex lied to the Magistrate constantly about having work. Good luck. They always believe these no count fathers.
    And to the poster above, I was taking care of my exe’s child and his ex-wife was ordered to pay $1.00 per month. She would rather drink than work. So the answer is probably no mothers are paying child support. If the father has them, they are incompetent of caring for their children. Most likely on drugs or drunk all of the time.

    • Anonymous says:

      To be a father is a act of biology. To be a Dad is to be a man. The pill, condoms, or last of all morals would go along way toward solving the problem. No baby, no problem man.

  4. Anonymous says:

    In this age of gender equality, Aunty are you please able to investigate how many Mothers in the Cayman Islands are paying child support?