Men can sue wives for maintenance for abandoning children

Men can now sue their wives to pay for maintenance of their kids if they abandon them for another man.

Secretary for Constitution and Law Reform Committee Dr Eric Kwa revealed this today.

He said CLRC has reviewed this law and made it gender balanced across the board.

According to CLRC Working Paper 23, three pieces of legislation to deal with maintenance in PNG.

A wife and children who have been deserted may claim maintenance in the District Court or the Local Court under the Deserted Wives and Children Act.

A spouse of a statutory marriage may claim maintenance in the National Court under the Matrimonial Causes Act.

In relation to an illegitimate child the claim may be made in the Local Court or the Children's Court under the Child Welfare Act.

In terms of enforcement of maintenance orders, the National Court orders made under the Matrimonial Causes Act can be enforced under that Act and the National Court Rules.

The orders of the courts of summary jurisdiction may be enforced under the Deserted Wives and Children Act, the Child Welfare Act and the Maintenance Orders Enforcement Act.

Before instituting proceedings for maintenance or for enforcement of maintenance orders one needs to choose the particular court and the Act under which to proceed.

However, Dr Kwa revealed that this had already been reviewed by CLRC that enables men to sue their wives otherwise.

Freddy Mou