Divorce F.A.Q.

    Divorce F.A.Q. > Type > Maintenance

What happens with regards to unpaid/outstanding maintenance payments?

2017-10-24

Location: South Africa

Unpaid child maintenance never expires. After attempting to resolve the dispute through mediation, the Maintenance Court should be approached to enforce an existing maintenance order. A maintenance review should be requested from the Maintenance Court should the payment amount be required to change. In short, always keep the maintenance order up to date. Remember that mediation is the best option to resolve maintenance disputes.

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Father has no contact with our child and is not paying maintenance, what should I do?

2017-10-23

Location: South Africa

Biological parents both have parental responsibilities and rights with regards to their child. The Maintenance Act confirms that both parents are responsible for the financial support of their child and the Children’s Act confirms that it is a child’s right to have meaningful relations with both parents. It is a criminal office not to support your child financially and it is also a criminal offence to frustrate or deny a child’s right to have contact with either parent.

Sadly some parents do not realise the negative impact of not playing an active part in the life of their child. Options to attempt to resolve this challenge is to attempt mediation first and to put a parenting plan in place. As the saying goes, you can lead a horse to the water, but you cannot make it drink... - the hope is that, through the drafting of the parenting plan, the parent would realise the importance of contact. The second option would be ask for assistance for the Family Court; potentially spend thousands and multiple court dates and you still cannot make the horse drink...

Not in the best interest of your child, but possible best to have a parenting plan put in place (to guard your legal rights) and to accept that you cannot change someone else. In terms of child maintenance: After attempting mediation to resolve the challenge, bring a Maintenance Court application. You do not need legal representation but it does take time.

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My ex is not paying child maintenance, should I allow child visitation?

2017-10-01

Location: South Africa

Child maintenance and visitation are two separate entities and do not have bearing on each other. The Maintenance Court will effectively enforce maintenance payments. Remember, a parent does not 'allow' visitation, it is a child's constitutional right to have meaningful relations with both parents. Not paying maintenance and frustrating or denying contact between a parent and a child are both criminal offences.

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Can I claim maintenance while living together with the father/mother of the child?

2017-08-14

Location: South Africa

Yes, you can claim maintenance if the other parent does not take responsibility of maintaining the child.

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How much money should be paid for maintenance?

2017-04-11

Location: South Africa

The amount payable for maintenance will be determined by the needs of the child and the financial means of the parents. The maintenance money should be paid every month on the dates agreed upon by both the parties and granted by the court.

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Must I pay child maintenance?

2017-01-07

Location: South Africa

Yes. Both biological parents have the parental responsibility to support their children financially. Remember that outstanding maintenance money never expires and that it is a criminal offence not to not pay child maintenance.

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Procedure in cases where a respondent does not pay.

2016-12-06

Location: South Africa

If the respondent fails to pay within the speci?ed times, you should report the matter to the Maintenance Offices. The court will follow one of the following two options: 1) Civil Enforcement of Maintenance, through the Magistrate may order one of the following: Emolument attachment, attachment of debt and/or, execution of movable/immovable property. 2) Criminal Prosecution. A warrant of arrest can be issued as the respondent failed to comply with an order of court.

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Does a father/mother have any rights when he is not paying any maintenance?

2016-10-01

Location: South Africa

Yes, a father/mother is not precluded from exercising contact if he/she has failed to pay maintenance.

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Is maintenance a responsibility of biological parents only?

2016-06-15

Location: South Africa

No, any person who is responsible to raise the child i.e legal guardian, adoptive parents and grandparents of the child, if the biological parents do not have means to pay maintenance.

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Who can apply for Child Maintenance?

2015-10-08

Location: South Africa

The parent/person who is in custody of the child/ren may claim maintenance from the other parent who is responsible or liable to pay maintenance in the jurisdiction of the child/ren. Maintenance can be claimed from the biological grandparent if the parents cannot pay maintenance. (Dept of Justice)

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Documents needed to lodge a maintenance claim?

2014-11-12

Location: South Africa

The Identity document, birth certificate of the child, bank statements of both the parents, list of the expenses of the child, list of expenses of both the parents, Proof of applicant's income and expenditure, Name and surname of parent/person responsible for the payment of maintenance money, Physical/work address of the parent/person responsible for the payment of maintenance money if available, Copy of bank statement, Proof of residence/affidavit.

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Disclaimer

The above answers are supplied by accredited family mediators with input from our legal counsel. The contents of this page are not published as legal fact as every case is different. You are welcome to book a support request and to share details after which we will be in a better position to assist you.