Thabo's Story - Maintenance

Thabo Maintenance Story

We were never married but we lived together for about 10 years. She just moved into my house, stopped working and became pregnant. Over the years we had three children who she really didn’t bother to look after.

Despite my having my own business and working more hours than my employees, I still made a point of finding time for our children, and she found time for the bottle. Eventually I was the provider and the caregiver and she was the boozer and the abuser.

To cut a long story short, I lost all respect for her and asked her many times to leave my house but she flat refused and caused unseemly arguments and drunkenly brawled with me in front of our children.

This went on for quite a few months and finally she realised I wanted her out of my life and I wanted to keep out children, and she saw that I was serious. It was then that she started to get maintenance out of me for herself.

What followed after this was quite frightening because she went on endless spending sprees and lavished money upon herself – never once thinking of our children. As a result of this I was faced with a multitude of bills to pay and suddenly had to start thinking seriously of curtailing our children’s extra curricula activities. They were bright children who were becoming more accomplished each day. I had to stop myself and think things through and realised at that point that I was between a rock and a hard place.

The alcoholic mother had blackmailed me into believing that if I didn’t fully support her and all her needs then she would disappear with the children and I would never see them again. How could she do this – they were my life; so I complied.

One morning I knew that I couldn’t go on any longer with the Sword of Damocles hanging over my head. I asked around my friends and colleagues; surfed the net; and came up with the Specialist Maintenance Attorneys at Martin Vermaak Attorneys. I was advised not to go to Attorneys because we weren’t married but I needed help and they assured me they would assist.

Despite all the well meaning advice from my friends and family, I kept the appointment and haven’t looked back since then. The Maintenance Attorneys were so understanding and helpful that I wished I’d gone to them a lot sooner. They treated my situation with care and concerned and discussed the whole matter at length with me so that I understood what the law said about my particular situation.

I cannot begin to tell you how relieved I felt after that. I was like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. Also, because the Attorneys explained everything in such detail to me, I was able to make informed decisions. This made me generally happier and improved my relationship with my children.

Their mother has since moved out of the house. I take care of her where and as I can and under the advice of my Attorneys. Also she comes and visits the children whenever she wishes – which isn’t often. There is no more tension and stress; except over normal things like poor exam marks or illnesses. My children are growing from strength to strength both as bright and progressive scholars and also as polite and caring human beings. I do have lady friends but I don’t bring them home. I’ll wait until I get serious about someone new before I take that big step. My children are too important to me to cause them further pain and suffering.

I’m writing this to tell anyone out there who isn’t sure of their situation, to go and see the Specialist Maintenance Attorneys and get the truth of the matter before they listen to old wives’ tales and do the wrong thing.

When I think back to where I nearly became a victim of blackmail and compromised my children’s futures because of a drunken selfish woman and my own ignorance, I could laugh. My children are flourishing and I am a happy man because now I know what my rights are.