Qanoon Saaz

Child Maintenance Laws in Pakistan


Child maintenance, as mandated by the laws of Pakistan, is a crucial aspect of family law designed to ensure the financial well-being of children in cases of parental separation or divorce. The legal framework in Pakistan establishes clear guidelines and obligations for parents to contribute to the upbringing and support of their children. In this article, we will explore the key provisions of child maintenance laws in Pakistan and the responsibilities they entail.

Legal Basis of Child Maintenance in Pakistan:

Maintenance under Islamic Law:
In Pakistan, family matters, including child maintenance, are often governed by Islamic law. The concept of “Nafaqah” is integral, obligating the father to provide financial support for his children. This includes covering the costs of education, healthcare, and other essential needs.

The Family Courts Act, 1964:
The Family Courts Act serves as a comprehensive legal framework for family matters in Pakistan. Under this act, maintenance applications can be filed in family courts to seek financial support for children. The court has the authority to determine the amount of maintenance based on the financial capacity of the non-residential parent.

The Child Custody and Maintenance Act, 1968:
This legislation specifically addresses the issue of child maintenance in Pakistan. It empowers the court to order maintenance payments, taking into consideration factors such as the financial resources of the parents, the child’s needs, and the standard of living the child would have enjoyed if the family had remained intact.

Responsibilities of Parents:

Financial Contributions:
The primary responsibility of the non-residential parent is to make regular financial contributions to support the child. This includes covering educational expenses, healthcare costs, and any other necessities required for the child’s well-being.

Court Orders and Enforcement:
In cases where an agreement cannot be reached amicably, the court may issue maintenance orders. Non-compliance with court orders may result in legal consequences for the non-residential parent, emphasizing the legal obligation to fulfill the financial responsibilities towards the child.

Adjustments and Reviews:
The court recognizes that circumstances may change over time. Either parent can approach the court for adjustments to maintenance orders based on changes in income, employment, or other relevant factors. Periodic reviews ensure that the child’s evolving needs are adequately addressed.


Child maintenance in Pakistan is a legal obligation aimed at securing the financial well-being of children when their parents are separated or divorced. The legal framework, influenced by Islamic principles and statutes like the Family Courts Act and the Child Custody and Maintenance Act, establishes the parameters for determining maintenance amounts and ensuring enforcement. Understanding and adhering to these legal provisions is crucial for both parents to fulfill their responsibilities and provide a stable and supportive environment for their children.

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