Are women using financial weapon to abuse ex-partners?
Published On May 15, 2023 » 1480 Views» By Times Reporter » Features
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By Jessie Ngoma-Simengwa

SEPARATING from a partner, can be a difficult process that can affect one’s mental health and psychological wellbeing.
Child support can be one of the few tools that have become malicious that some abusive partners are using to maintain control over their ex-partner.
For many women, this experience has not been received well as they have to deal with their crushed emotions after separating from their partner.
During such times, one cannot explain their pain, feelings, heartache and the emptiness
that comes with separating with someone you had an intimate connection with.
A broken heart is one of the worst feelings a person can go through and if healing does not
happen soon enough, one is bound to suffer psychological issues.
Similarly, the thought of moving on, can be devastating, stressing, frustrating and being happy again is
rarely entertained.
Trending are stories of how some baby mamas have been such a nuisance in terms of the welfare surrounding their child or children with their ex-partners.
But for Samson (not real name), his separation with his wife was a difficult, painstaking process
especially because the two shared a child together.
The drama began when his ex-wife came to learn that he was due to get married to another woman
five years after their separation and subsequent divorce.
I only had one child with my first wife because she always gave me excuses of her busy work
schedule but as years went by, our marriage could not work and we decided to part ways.
I also have three children in my second marriage and I am not complaining about providing for
my first child but, my ex-wife has drained me emotionally because of the exorbitant budget for the
child she presents,” says Samson.
He says in spite of his best efforts, his ex-partner is still not content and wants more for the child than he can provide.
“On top of that, she wanted to throw a party for our daughter who had just turned 18 years and
wanted to host it at a venue which I could not afford.’’ Samson said in an email.
Many, single mothers have issues with their expartners over the financial welfare of their children.
The situation is worse for partners who just dated and in the process had a child and the
relationship could not go further.
It is true that many single mothers out there have to struggle month to month to pay for absentee fathers by
providing, financial help for their child or children alone because, their ex-partner contributes nothing for the children’s welfare.
The Zambian law provides for child maintenance after divorce and also for single women and hence, one has the right to apply for maintenance order.
Naturally, one may apply on the grounds that the father has failed to provide, or to make a proper contribution towards, reasonable maintenance for a child or children.
Further, the acrimony that often surrounds the end of a partnership can make reaching a mutually acceptable
maintenance agreement difficult.
It is also important to understand that the charge placed is also dependent on the income earned
through salary or business activity which the accused may be engaged in.
In fact, some people have joked about some women who prefer to settle maintenance matters
within their families as they claim the charges levied on the accused may not be appealing.
I have also observed among some friends, relations and others who are no longer with their partners that,
child maintenance payments can also be dependent on your relationship with your ex partner.
But, we cannot ignore the fact that some women are using it as a weapon to financially abuse their
ex-partners and also inflict punishment for breaking up with them.
Psychologists have observed that it is a natural reaction to a life changing event for any partner going through a separation, divorce to respond in this manner hence, the need for them
to seek counseling.
Another concern came from a male partner whose expartner he dated before he married decided
to take their child to a private secondary school after she qualified for grade eight.
“My child with my ex-partner was accepted in a government secondary school but the mother said she
wanted her to be in a private school.
My other children with my wife are currently in government schools where there is now free education and
are performing well.
“I have told her that I cannot manage from my income, and if that is her decision, she must be ready to meet the fees because I will not stress myself,“ he said
It is not a secret that child maintenance has created so much tension but, I do believe that, if both partners have the capacity to provide financial assistance, there is nothing wrong with both of them providing for the welfare of the child/children.
Some men who have ex-partners, who use a pattern of behavior to exert power over them through threats about child maintenance, have had their self worth or their independence stripped.
Controlling behaviour takes place even within a partnership or marriage but is more common following a
Additionally, pressure from an ex-partner over child maintenance can affect relationships with new partners creating tension.
There are several ways to arrange child maintenance if you and your partner split, if two ex-partners cannot agree on how to provide for the welfare of a child, the courts do have laws that guide the process.
Ultimately, what is important is that both parties settle the matter amicably for the interest of the child or children involved and not abuse each other.
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