If you have been maintaining your child with your former partner before she got married, unless the child is now adopted by the husband to your ex, you still have an obligation of maintenance towards that child. The mother still has the responsibility to demand from you that you care for your child, your responsibility does not just cease simply because the mother of the child is now married to a third party or because she says you should stop maintaining the child with the hope that you will fade away. It is your responsibility to continue giving the child love and affection as a father of the child. It is your responsibility to see to it that your child is well cared for. It is your responsibility to have a relationship with this child. Sometimes mothers seek to change children’s surname to that of their husbands who are not the biological fathers to the children and without the children having been adopted by the husband and deny the biological father the privilege to have their own children assume their biological father’s surname. When we do this, we should be considerate of how this benefits the child and we should not do it to assuage our personal feelings and those of our new partners. You should be mindful of the future consequences when you and your new partner divorce. If you are married and you have other children not of the marriage, they should feel free to visit you, they should not be strangers to your other children of the marriage; build that relationship between all your children and they should all feel like equals before you as their parent and none should be subservient to others. Let’s do all we do in the best interest of the children.
Legal Aid Botswana