Maintenance

29th May 2015 | By More

Child SupportMaintenance is the obligation to provide another person, for example a minor, with housing, food, clothing, education and medical care, or with the means that are necessary for providing the person with these essentials. This legal duty to maintain is called ‘the duty to maintain’ or ‘the duty to support’. A child must be supported or maintained by parents or grandparents and a maintenance order can be made to compel them to do so.

Who must provide maintenance?

The duty to maintain is based on blood relationship, adoption, or the fact that the parties are married to each other. A child must be supported or maintained by:

  • his or her parents, whether married, living together, separated or divorced, including parents who have adopted the child; and/or
  • his or her grandparents, whether or not the child’s parents were married to each other. However, this varies from one case to another.
  • The duty to support a family member is not limited to supporting a child. Any family member, irrespective of his or her age, can ask any family member to support or maintain him or her, provided that the following conditions are met:
    • The family member who claims support is unable to maintain himself or herself.
    • The family member from whom maintenance is claimed is able to afford the maintenance that is claimed.
    • The main requirement of the means test is that the person who is liable to pay maintenance must have MEANS and the maintenance claimed must be REASONABLE

What expenses may be claimed?

You may claim reasonable support that is necessary for providing the child or other person who has a right to maintenance with a proper living and upbringing. This includes providing necessities such as food, clothing and housing, as well as paying for a proper education. The court may also order the father to contribute to the payment of laying-in expenses (related to the birth) and maintenance from the date of the child’s birth up to the date on which the maintenance order is granted. The court may also grant an order for the payment of medical expenses, or may order that the child be registered on the medical scheme of one of the parties as a dependant. To enable the court to grant a fair maintenance order, both parties must provide the court with proof of their expenses.

Your view of the other parent’s behaviour has no effect on your children’s right to maintenance. You still have to pay maintenance, even if the other parent

  • remarries
  • is involved in another relationship
  • does not allow you to see the children or
  • if either party later has more children.

Your duty to pay maintenance and your right of access to your children are two entirely separate matters and one has no relation to the other. Furthermore, children of either party do not influence the duty to support. However, the amount of maintenance to be paid may be amended by the court if either of the parties should bring such an application.

Compiled from an article on www.justice.gov.za

Posted by Sinta Ebersohn (Creator of fairdivorce.co.za – Stellenbosch)


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Category: Financial, Maintenance

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