My wife and I are very comfortably off and want for nothing. We have just one child, aged 12. My wife’s mother passed away a few years ago, leaving our daughter, her only grandchild, a substantial amount of real estate, including an apartment block and shops which are rented out. My wife and I do not get along and have decided to divorce. I agree that she should have custody over our daughter though I disagree with her about the level of child maintenance she has suggested, due to the monthly income received from rental of the real estate. Could I still have to pay child maintenance for my daughter even though her own income exceeds my monthly salary?! We are all Jewish.
By: דיאנה שאלתיאל•Published on: 13 May, 2022
A Jewish father is obliged to support his minor child/ren born to a Jewish mother according to Jewish law. Until the child is aged six, a Jewish’s father’s maintenance obligation to his child is absolute – he still has to support him regardless of whether the child has his own income.
From the age of 6-15 the obligation is ‘semi-absolute’ . If the child has no independent income then the father’s maintenance obligation will still be absolute – the entire burden will fall on his shoulder’s alone. If, however, the child has his own independent source of income – e.,g. through inheritance or a trust fund then this will be taken into account. If a child maintenance plea is filed and it is established that the child’s income is greater than his needs, then almost certainly the father will be exempt from supporting him, or will only have to pay very low child maintenance. If, however, the child’s needs are shown to be greater than his income, then the father will be obliged to pay the difference.