FAQ

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Do I need a lawyer to represent me in the Maintenance Court?
Aug. 31, 2012 by Admin
No, you don’t need a lawyer to represent you. You have the right to use an attorney if you can afford one, but it isn’t compulsory. Few single parents can genuinely afford the expense.

Do the Maintenance obligations of the parents end when the child turns 18?
Aug. 31, 2012 by Admin
Not necessarily, the obligation of maintenance should continue until the child is self sufficient. A child of 18 who still lives at home and is continuing with his/her studies will still require financial assistance. The support however diminish depending on circumstances and of course the ability of the young adult to find part time employment. Furthermore, in many cases the claim for maintenance will be that of the child, not the ‘custodian’ parent.

He hasn't paid his Maintenance for several months. Can I stop his visits with our children?
Aug. 31, 2012 by admin
No. Maintenance and contact (access) issues are handled separately in court. You cannot withhold access if he falls behind with his payments. Non-payment of maintenance is a criminal offence, for which he can be sent to prison. (Denial of access is too). You have to continue allowing him access and take the arrears up with the maintenance courts.

How can I accurately determine what my children's monthly costs are?
Aug. 31, 2012 by Admin
It’s a time consuming exercise. Every expense, both the household overheads and the expenses specific to each child, must be accounted for. If you take short cuts by guessing, you could be shooting yourself in the foot. There is a step-by-step guide available for purchase on our Products page. It’s a lengthy document that takes you through the Maintenance Court application “Income & Expenditure” pages that you will be required to complete when applying for your order. The form is deceptive because most people don’t realise how many factors there are to consider within each item. We’ve done half the work for you, giving you many useful hints and tips along the way.

How much Maintenance should be paid?
Aug. 31, 2012 by Admin
Each case is different; there is no right or wrong answer. Parents should contribute to the cost according to their means. For example, if the child’s monthly cost amounts to R2 000.00 (which would be on the low side) and the mother earns R4 000.00 per month while the father earns R6 000.00 per month, their respective contributions should be 40% and 60%. In effect the mother would pay R800.00 per month and the father R1 200.00 per month.

I am looking after my sisters children. Can I make an application for maintenance?
Aug. 31, 2012 by Admin
Yes, because the parents are legally obliged to pay maintenance for their children. You can apply to receive maintenance from both parents.

I have been unemployed for the last year, but have managed to keep up with my Maintenance payments using my retrenchment payout and pension. I'm now running out of money and still have not managed to secure suitable employment. What can I do? Can my ex have me sent to jail?
Aug. 31, 2012 by Admin
Failure to pay is a criminal offence, so if you stop paying or start short-paying, then a warrant of arrest might be issued for you. Don’t allow the matter to deteriorate to that extent. Approach the Maintenance Court and make application for a reduction.

I pay my Maintenance in cash every month as the mother of my children does not have a bank account. I have never missed a payment or ever been late with the money. But after an argument recently she threatened to have me locked up for not paying. What can I do?
Aug. 31, 2012 by Admin
You have two options: Option 1: Stop paying her and make your payments to the court every month. She will then have to go down to the courts to collect the money herself. The courts will keep a record and there can be no dispute. Option 2: Get a duplicate book (available from any stationery store). Before making payment to her draw up a receipt showing the date, amount you are paying and specifying that it’s for maintenance. You must then make her sign the receipt to say she has received the money. Give her the top copy and keep the permanent copy for yourself – keep the book in a safe place!

I was divorced a few years ago and recently married. My ex wife wants an increase in Maintenance and is demanding that I account for my current wife's income. My new wife has no financial obligation to my children, what does her income have to do with my Maintenance payments?
Aug. 31, 2012 by Admin
While you are correct that your new wife has no obligation to maintain your children, she does have an obligation to contribute to the household you share with her. If she is paying her share of the expenses then this will have a direct and significant impact on your ability to pay maintenance. You therefore must account for her income and contribution to the household expenditure.

My child contributes very little in the way of Maintenance. He only works part time and earns very little, but he chooses to do so. He inherited a great deal of money from his deceased parents. Had he not received his inheritance he would be forced to work full time and earn much more to support himself financially. Is there anything that can be done?
Aug. 31, 2012 by Admin
Yes, salary alone is not a complete picture of ‘means’; maintenance is payable not only from income, but form a person’s ‘means’. The fact that he chooses to work only part time is not relevant. He can be ordered to use his capital in order to maintain his child adequately. He must disclose details of all his assets, investments and business interests to the Maintenance Court. If he refuses to do so then approach the Maintenance officer, they may require a Maintenance Investigator (also employed at the Maintenance Court) to assist in obtaining this information.

My ex and I are expecting a baby soon. We are not together anymore but I want to be an active parent. In terms of Maintenance, do I only start paying when the baby is born or do I start paying during pregnancy?
Aug. 31, 2012 by Admin
During the course of the pregnancy you will have to contribute to the expenses the mother will incur. Such expenses will include antenatal medical expenses, hospital costs for the delivery as well as doctors and the like. It doesn’t end there though. You must also contribute towards the ‘layette’ (clothing and equipment which the mother will need when she brings the baby home) and you may even be required to contribute towards maintenance for the mother while she is on maternity leave, to compensate for loss of earnings. As soon as the baby has been born you will need to start paying maintenance proper – i.e. a set amount per month.

My ex and I are on amicable terms. We have a verbal agreement regarding the Maintenance of our children and he pays every month. Is it still necessary to go to the Maintenance court?
Aug. 31, 2012 by Admin
Yes, it is still necessary. While it’s great that you and your ex get on so well, it may not always be the case. A ‘verbal’ agreement is not enforceable, which means that if you do fall out in the future and there is a dispute about the maintenance, you have no recourse. It is best to have your current agreement made an order of court as soon as possible. The process is simple; there is an application form (available on the “Free Resources” page of our site). In addition you will complete a ‘Consent’ form – also available on our site. Follow our instruction for the completion and steps to have it made in to a court order. The step-by-step guide to completing the forms will be available soon on the “Products” page. This whole process may take only one visit to the Maintenance Court, if you do everything correctly.

My ex has not been honest with the Maintenance Courts. He is not disclosing all the details about his assets, investments and business interests. I also know he earns a lot more than he is claiming. How can i prove that he is lying?
Aug. 31, 2012 by Admin
Maintenance courts have full time investigators who are available to assist in such a situation. Take whatever information you have to the maintenance investigator and he can look in to the matter for you.

My ex is unemployed and says he has no means of paying for the Maintenance. His family can afford to assist. Is there anything that can be done?
Aug. 31, 2012 by Admin
Yes, in certain circumstances grandparents can be ordered to pay maintenance. In very rare cases, siblings can also be held liable for support.

What is my ex goes on to have more children with someone else. Will he still need to pay Maintenance for our children?
Aug. 31, 2012 by admin
Yes. He can’t stop paying maintenance because he has other children. He has a legal duty to support all of his children, equally (that is, no one child is of greater importance than another). Non payment of maintenance is a criminal offence!

Who is responsible for paying Maintenance?
Aug. 31, 2012 by Admin
Both parents, whether they are (or were) married or not, have a duty to support their children. If they are unable to do so, the grand parents may be liable.

12 Responses

  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 12, 2013 at 7:18 pm |

    Ek het dringend raad nodig. My man was voorheen getroud en het 2 dogtertjie(6jr en 3jr) in hulle skikking staan daar hy mag die een dogtertjie op skoolgaande ouderdom vat vir vakansie. Sy is op die oomblik in Gr R. Volgende jaar gaan sy Gr1 toe. GrR is mos al skoolgaande want jy kan nie Gr1 toe gaan sonder GrR nie. Die ma werk elke dag en die kinders bly by die ouma in skoolvakansies. Mag hy al een kind vat. Hy sou graag altwee wil vat maar sy wil streng by die skikkikng bly. Sal jy asb vir ons raad gee. Ons baklei so hard om die dierbare dogtertjies in ons lewe te hou.

  2. Mandi
    Mandi September 20, 2013 at 10:59 am |

    Ek wil net graag uitvind,,,my man se dogter word 19 volgende maand,,,sy bly saam haar kerel in n woonstel,,,sy nie meer onder haar ma se to9esig nie,,,sy het ook die shutdown gewerk,,,maar volgens die ma moet ons onderhoud betaal tot sy 21 is,,,,sy het 2jaar terug besluit om verder te studeer,maar volgens die swangerskap het sy dit op gegee,,ek wil net weet of ons nog geregtig is om onder te betaal,,al bly sy saam die kerel….

  3. MC Le Roux
    MC Le Roux January 22, 2014 at 8:46 am |

    Ek benodig dringend u raad. My man kom uit n huwelik van 20 jaar. Hy was getroud buite gemeenskap van goedere met aanwas bedeling. Hy is in 2011 van haar geskei. Die skei ooreenkoms is so opgestel dat hy sy ex vir 3 jaar n x bedrag onderhoud moes betaal sodat dit haar kon help om op die been te kom aangesien sy n huisvrou was en nie gewerk het nie. Na die verstrek van 3 jaar, gaan die onderhoudsbevel in die hof hersien word. Sy beklee tans n goeie pos en verdien n goeie betalende inkomste. Sy het verskeie ander baie goeie voordele uit die skeisaak gekry o.a., n nuwe voertuig wat klaar betaal is en oorgedra is op haar naam, lewenslange vruggebruik van die huis waarin sy woon met geen uitgawes t.o.v. Die huis in enige opsig nie, helfde van sy pensioengeld, n groot som spaargeld plus sy is steeds op sy medies en alle eise en premies word steeds deur hom betaal. My vraag aan u is, wanneer is genoeg genoeg? Wanneer kan hy ophou om onderhoud te betaal aan sy ex? Met alles in gedagte geneem van wat sy uit die skeisaak gekry het en steeds kry, kan dit in die hof aangevoer word en sodoende geskrap word?

  4. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 5, 2014 at 9:49 am |

    My ex betaal onderhoud en somtyds betaal nie, of hy betaal laat. Die hof het hom al ‘n paar keer aangespreek en hy is alreeds ‘n groot bedrag uitstaande. Ek het ‘n hooggeregshof ooreenkoms en daarna die normale onderhouds bevel van die magistraat. Huidiglik wil hy ‘n vermindering in onderhoud betaal as gevolg van al sy skuld en nuwe baba. My Hooggeregshof brief stipuleer dat hy die helfte van die ekstras moet betaal en die onderhoudsbevel van die magistraat sê onderhoud en skoolfonds. Is hy verplig om dit te betaal of moet daar weer nog ‘n bevel vir dit gemaak word? Is ek ook verplig om aan hom rekords te gee van enige betalings sodat hy sy papierwerk op datum kan kry voor ons volgende hof datum?

  5. Lorenzo Willemse
    Lorenzo Willemse October 15, 2014 at 9:25 am |

    Nee, daar is reeds ‘n bevel en u hoef nie weer aansoek te doen om ‘n bevel daarvoor nie. Hy is verplig om die onderhoudsbevel na te kom soos dit is. Hy is egter geregtig om aansoek te doen vir verlaging van onderhoud, maar u kan ook so ‘n aansoek teenstaan. Indien hy agterstallig word met sy onderhoud, stel ek voor dat u die Onderhoudshof nader en ‘n lasbrief vir eksekusie te verkry ten einde die agterstallige onderhoud te delg.

  6. Marius Victor
    Marius Victor October 31, 2014 at 8:03 am |

    Skoolgaande ouderdom is strenggesproke eers wanneer die kind in Graad 1 is, wat gewoonlik om en by 6 of 7 jaar oud is. Dit sal wys wees om eerder te wag totdat sy in die Laerskool is (Graad 1) alvorens u aanspraak maak op vakansiebesoeke.

  7. Anonymous
    Anonymous February 17, 2015 at 1:25 pm |

    Ek het n 2ling dogtertjies saam my ex, hy betaal geen onderhoud nie maar wil die kinders elke 2de naweek he wat ek tot dusver toegelaat het, hy is onsettend jaloers en alhoewel ons al n jaar en 4maande uit is (2ling is amper 2) se hy my sleg en dink hy het se oor my lewe en wil alles weet. Wat staan my te doen, hy se hy kry slegs genoeg geld vir huur. Hy betaal niks vir die kinders nie en ek moet alles saam stuur as hulle wel gaan kuier.

  8. Leoni
    Leoni March 5, 2015 at 4:02 pm |

    Hello daar,
    Ek is al so frusteerd, ek betaal n prokureer en voel ons kom nie tot n beslissing nie, dit kos my geld om elke keer deur te gaan vir dieselfde briewe wat gestuur word, ek meen mens gee nie om om te betaal nie solank ons iewers kom. My eks man het begin Desember laat weet dat hy nie onderhoud gaan betaal nie, en dat hy ook nie tot einde april 2015 gaan betaal nie, aangesien hy aansoek gedoen het vir debt review. Die prokueer het my gese my saak is goed want hy moet hof toe gaan as hy vermidnering wil betaal. Wat sad is dat hy volgens die debt review R13 500 het vir debitors maar sy salaris is R35 000 en hy kan nie eers sy onderhoud van R3500 betaal nie. Dis nou die maand al vier maande wat hy nie betaal nie. Nou Desember dreig hulle my indien ek hom nie n kans gee op sy voete te kom nie gaan ons hof toe, kry toe nuwe prokureer betaal en kry geen results nou het ons proks gesit onm n rondetafel gesprek om n skikking te bereik, hy offer n R1000 onderhoud n maand, en R500 by om die agterstallige gelde van R14 500 af te betaal, waarop ek gese het nee, dis nie aanvaarbaar nie, intussin kom hulle nou en se hy is so siek dat hy nie kan werk nie, en is depres en en en kom met een dokter brief wat se hy siek. Maar vandag het ek op private lyn sy werk gebel, en hulle het sy direkte lyn vir my gegee hy is by die werk, want ek het met hom gepraat, hy weet nie dis ek nie maar hy het gese dis hy toe ek vra wie praat. Nou wil ek weet, kan ek sonder die prokureer vir sy prokureer n brief stuur wat se ek gaan onderhoudshof toe en wat het ek als nodig om onderhouds hof toe te gaan, ek het n Onderhouds bevel, probleem is ek het getrek uit daai area waar ek gebly het en val nou onder n ander juristisie moet ek my ler skuit en hoe lank vat dit.

  9. Anonymous
    Anonymous April 10, 2015 at 3:27 pm |

    Goeie middag, ek wil graag weet indien ‘n kind die ouderdom van 19 is, moet hy self nou aansoek doen en sy pa dagvaar vir onderhoud? Hy studeer tans maar het ook ‘n klein inkomste (hy rig rugby af)

  10. Marius Victor
    Marius Victor April 20, 2015 at 11:36 am |

    Ongelukkig ja. U seun is nou meerderjarig en sal self sy eis vir onderhoud moet bring.

  11. Anonymous
    Anonymous April 20, 2015 at 9:35 pm |

    Ek vra namens my dogter. Sy is besig met ‘n egskeidingssaak. Sy is met ‘n dokter getroud vir 21 jaar op huweliksvoorwaarde met aanwas. Sy is ‘n tuisteskepper al die tyd wat vir so 8 jaar tydelik onderwys gee met geen vaste salaris. Hul huis se markwaarde is R3m en die uitstaande skuld daarop is R2m. Is sy geregtig op die helfte van die markwaarde?

  12. Marius Victor
    Marius Victor April 21, 2015 at 8:05 am |

    U dogter sal nie uit die staanspoor daarop geregtig wees nie nee. Ons sal eers die Huweliksvoorwaardekontrak onder oë moet neem om te bepaal wat die partye se onderskeie beginwaardes was voordat so ’n opinie gevorm kan word. Onthou dat die verskil in die groei (aanwas) van die onderskeie boedels met huwelikke van hierdie aard verdeel word met ontbinding.

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