The Maintenance Act, 2005 has repealed the Affiliation Act which since 1926 had provided for the determination of fatherhood and the maintenance of children where the parents are not married to each other. The situation now is that whether a child is of a single woman or not, it does not matter so far as the determination of paternity is concerned. In respect of maintenance, every parent has an obligation to maintain his or her unmarried child who is under the age of eighteen years, OR is in need of such maintenance, by reason of physical, or mental infirmity or disability.
Every grandparent has a similar obligation in respect of the grandparent’s unmarried grandchild, in the event of the grandchild’s parents failing to maintain the child due to death, physical or mental infirmity or disability of the parents. This is so to the extent that the grandparent is capable of so doing.
This legislation is clearly aimed at ensuring that parents and grandparents take responsibility for their children and grandchildren who are under eighteen; and also for those who are over eighteen but are suffering from a disability.
So, grandparents must never believe that they are ever off the hook or out of the picture, in respect of maintenance.
Great grandparents, though, have been given a break as this law ignores them.