Taking responsibility for our children
Every other other day we witness drama at the Children court whenever parents are fighting for maintenance, custody and access of their children. There is however another face of that court which takes care of parents who have agreed to resolve the issues of the children in a more diplomatic and civil way. Section 26(1) of The Children Act provides for such an agreement. It provides that a parental responsibility agreement shall have effect for the purposes of this Act if it is made substantially in the form prescribed by the Chief Justice. A parental responsibility agreement can contain what the parties have agreed.
PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY AGREEMENT
We, AAA of P.O.BOX 1 NAIROBI being of sound mind and herein after referred to as “the father” or “Parent” and BBB of P.O. BOX 2 NAIROBI being of sound mind and herein after referred to as “the mother” or “Parent”, do hereby enter into a parental responsibility and maintenance agreement in respect to our son LLL born on 2012 and herein after referred to as “the child”, in accordance with the Children’s Act and made here in Nairobi, Kenya on this _________________ day of __________________ 2012.
It is herein agreed that the father, having acknowledged paternity of the child shall have the following rights and responsibilities in respect to the child: -
i. THAT the parents shall have joint parental responsibility.
ii. THAT the parents shall provide parental guidance in religious, moral, social, cultural and other values to the child.
Iii. THAT the father shall have access to the child for the purpose of parental visits limited to the extent that it does not interfere with the education of the child.
iv. THAT the father shall provide school fees and related expenses the child. Until she completes her university.
v. THAT the father shall provide medical care for the child either through a medical cover or by enjoining the child in his medical cover or by meeting medical expenses at all times.
vi. THAT the father shall provide shoulder maintenance of the child and shall deposit with the mother an amount of Sh 30,000 per month.
vii. THAT unfortunate subsequent demise of the mother the father alone, shall exercise full parental responsibility of the child alone or together with a testamentary guardian duly appointed by the mother or relatives of the mother or by the court.
viii. THAT the father hereby consents that he will voluntarily provide for the child as a legitimate beneficiary in his last will and testament and in the absence of which or intestacy, hereby do agree for the child (or a trustee) to be listed as a beneficiary of his estate.
ix. That the father will at all times give his consent as a father to facilitate the issuance of statutory documents like a passport.
It is herein further voluntarily agreed that the mother shall have the following rights and responsibilities in respect to the child:-
i. THAT the mother shall have full custody, care and control of the child.
ii. THAT the mother shall also provide parental guidance in acceptable religious, moral, social, cultural and other values to the child.
iii. THAT the mother shall provide access to the child for the purpose of parental visits by the father at all reasonable times.
iv. THAT the mother shall provide adequate and safe shelter for the child.
v. THAT the mother shall jointly provide for the maintenance of the child.
vi. THAT the mother shall negotiate for a medical cover for the child where and as is possible as part of her employment contract. In the absence of which, the father shall provide for a medical cover for the child.
vii. THAT the mother shall cater for the cost of a care giver/domestic help for the child.
x. THAT unfortunate subsequent demise of the father the other alone, shall exercise full parental responsibility of the child alone or together with a testamentary guardian duly appointed by the father or relatives of the mother or by the court.
viii. THAT the mother shall name the child as one of her beneficiaries to her estate in her last will and testament.
General specifications of this agreement
1. This agreement, its provisions, terms and validity shall only be nullified or brought to end by court order through application by either parent, mutual consent from both parents and the enactment of a similar agreement replacing it.
2. Unless otherwise agreed, this agreement shall remain in force up to or until the child’s eighteenth (18) birthday and shall be subject to consideration of extension for a further three (3) years until the child’s twenty first (21) birthday, or otherwise upon agreement by both parents.
3. The agreement shall be reviewed annually with a view to ascertain whether the above stated maintenance contribution from the father requires amendment or variation based on prevailing economic conditions, inflation or any other relevant financial considerations.
4. Any variations or amendments to this agreement shall require the signing of a new agreement duly reflecting the said amendments.
5. Neither parent shall vary or amend this agreement or its provisions without the consent of the other.
6. In the event that either parent shall be rendered unable to meet their responsibilities or requirements as per this agreement through loss of earnings from business or employment or other form of income, such parent shall inform the other within a reasonable period and an agreement reached with regards to temporary stay, duration and conditions of stay or any such other resolution and conditional terms thereof.
We declare that we are the mother and father of the above child and we agree that the child’s father shall have parental responsibility for the child (in addition to the mother)
Signed (Mother) ID No. Signed (Father) ID No.
Name of Witness
Dated this day of 2012
Under Section 26 (2) of The Children Act,a parental responsibility agreement may only be brought to an end by an order of the court made on application by
(a) any person who has parental responsibility for the child; or
(b) the child himself with the leave of the court.
(3) The Court may only grant leave under subsection 2 (b) if it is satisfied that the child has sufficient understanding to make the proposed application.
Parental responsibility agreements are a better way of settling the issues of children.