My husband has disappeared abroad and I cannot trace him. I cannot support our children. My father-in-law is very wealthy. Is he obliged to support the children if their own father does not ?By: דיאנה שאלתיאל•Published on: 17 May, 2022
Yes. A grandparent can be liable for his/her grandchild’s maintenance if the parents cannot support them. Under the Family Law Amendment (Maintenance) Act of 1959 a grandparent is under a legal duty to support his/her grandchildren in certain circumstances. They are that the parents themselves cannot do so and that the grandparent has a surplus from which to support the minors, after first providing for his/her spouse and any minor children they both have.
These points were emphasized by the Supreme Court in the late 1970’s when a minor’s paternal grandmother was held to be liable for her granddaughter’s maintenance after her son disappeared overseas and the mother could not support the child alone.