Child Maintenance – Articles and Posts

Child Maintenance Articles and Posts

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International Family Law matters, applicable to South Africa – Divorce, Child Custody, Maintenance

International Family Law matters, applicable to South Africa Divorces are not only limited to people living in the same country. Often, you will find that one spouse lives in South Africa and the other in a different country. They want to get divorced but do not know how to go about it. The question now is, which country and which court should divorce them? We regularly receive these types of queries from people living in the Middle East and the United Kingdom. The same problem arises in the case of parents living in different countries, but there are complications regarding contact and access to their minor children. Let's say, one parent, lives in Cape Town and the other in Taiwan. How does the parent living in Taiwan enforce his contact rights to his child in South Africa? Does he or she approach the court in Taiwan? Or should he or she approach the Court in South Africa? And Lastly, there is an issue regarding child maintenance. What happens in the case where one parent lives in Cape Town and the other in New York? How does child maintenance work? Can the parent living in Cape Town with the children obtain ...
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My child is 22 years old, do I still have a legal obligation to pay child maintenance?

I need to know, when does a parent's obligation to pay child maintenance end? Paying child maintenance, or maintaining their child, is the legal obligation of every parent. A parent does not have a choice in this matter. However, the level and standard of contribution are dependent on the means of the parent. In this article, we will look at the aspect of when does child maintenance come to an end. In this regard, we will look at two situations, one where there is a maintenance order in place and the other where there is not. However, before proceeding with those issues, let us first deal with the issue of who should pay child maintenance. Pay child maintenance according to your means The law expects a parent to provide child support according to their respective memes. What this entails, is that a parent should only pay what he or she can afford. Therefore, even if a child requires a huge amount of child support, if a parent cannot afford to provide, he or she will not be held responsible. Therefore, the other parent would have to support the child according to his or her means. In applying this principle in ...
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Child Maintenance and Child Support

How to Apply for Child Maintenance at Court – Step by Step Guide and Advice

ABC guide to applying for Child Support/Child Maintenance Child Maintenance Guide: Written by Advocate Muhammad Abduroaf The procedures to be followed in instituting a complaint for child maintenance are regulated by the Maintenance Act 99 of 1998. Below is a simple “ABC” guide to get you started in claiming maintenance for yourself, your children or dependents. This I wrote in order to encourage people to claim needed maintenance for their children or for themselves. Remember, the Maintenance Court would be more than happy to assist you with whatever other legal queries you may have. Before I deal with the simple steps that should be followed in claiming maintenance, I shall first deal with the following question: Q: From whom may maintenance be claimed? A: Maintenance may be claimed from persons who have a legal obligation to maintain you. For instance, children can claim maintenance from their parents or a wife from her husband and visa versa. Seeing that children are minors, they are assisted by their parent or guardian through the maintenance process, but in actual fact, it is the child who is claiming. For the purposes of the steps below, I shall structure it as if a parent or guardian is ...
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What do I do if I am not happy with the maintenance court’s ruling? Is it possible to appeal the decision?

What do I do if I am not happy with the maintenance court’s ruling? Is it possible to appeal the decision?

Appealing a Maintenance Court Decision or Judgment In its very nature, maintenance matters are complicated and never straight forward. For starters, it deals with the income and expenditure of both parents and the needs of the child. It is not easy for a maintenance court to determine with a high degree of certainty what the true income of a self-employed parent is. The same applies to the true expenses of a parent. Manipulating the maintenance system It is very easy for a parent to manipulate documentation or only present information which he or she believes would be in their favor. For example, if a parent earns extra income by selling clothing, he or she may decide not to disclose that information to the maintenance Court.  By doing so, the Maintenance Court will determine the maintenance of the child based on the incorrect facts presented. This could become more problematic when one parent knows of the other parent's additional income but cannot prove it. If the parties have legal representatives, this issue of improper disclosure is limited to a certain extent. For example, lawyers would be in a good position to do their own investigations and verify certain relevant information. Improper ...
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Child Custody, Maintenance, Divorce, Relocations and other Questions and Answers

Child Custody, Maintenance, Divorce, Relocations, and other Questions and Answers Our Lawyer (Pty) Ltd provides professional legal advice to their clients through the following options: Face to Face (At our location in Cape Town); Telephonic (We call you on the South African Landline / Mobile number provided); Video (We make use of Skype, FaceTime, and WhatsApp Video Call) If however, you have a quick and simple family law advice question you wish to ask, feel free to post it below. There would, therefore, be no need to set-up a consultation and pay a fee. The question may relate to any of the following: Child Maintenance; Child Custody; Divorce; Relocation of minor children; Change of minor children's surname; Guardianship rights; Passport consent issues; Domestic violence; Parenting Plans; and so on. Useful family law Articles Below are a few useful articles written by us. Child Relocation, Passports, Custody, Surname Change, and the High Courts – Simplified What does Child Relocation, Passport disputes, Custody issues, and surname changes have in common? They are all matters which a court of law resolves if the parties cannot do so. Other than child custody issues that can be resolved by the Children’s Court, disputes in relation ...
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Amendments to the Maintenance Act – Final Changes that took place in 2018 – Know your rights

Amendments to the Maintenance Act – Changes that took place in 2018 – Know your rights

Amendments to the Maintenance Act – Final Changes that took place in 2018 – Know your rights Parents have a legal obligation to maintain their children. The same applies to spouses who have to maintain each other, and so on. This obligation should be exercised naturally. In other words, even if a parent did not know of the law enforcing child support, he or she should have a natural inclination to do so. Unfortunately, the true reality is that it is not the case. Countless parents are taken to the maintenance court every year due to not supporting, or inadequately supporting their children. And to be fair, there are parents who abuse the maintenance process who takes the parent to court who is already adequately contributing. Now, for the maintenance enforcement process to function, working mechanisms need to be in place. This is where the Maintenance Act 99 of 1998, and the Maintenance Amendment Act, 9 of 2015 come into play. Read on to learn more. The Maintenance Act 99 of 1998 Since or about 1998, the Maintenance Act 99 of 1998 was the main piece of legislation that was used for parents to obtain maintenance for their children. Other ...
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Child Maintenance Court – What do you have to know to win. Tips and Tricks

Child Maintenance Court – What do you have to know to win. Tips and Tricks

Child Maintenance Court – What do you have to know to win. Tips and Tricks Best interests of a child: When it comes to child maintenance, the child’s best interests are of paramount importance. This principle is immortalised in our Constitution and applied in our Courts of Law. Therefore, in relation to child maintenance matters, and specifically to the child maintenance court, the moment a parent files an application for child maintenance, the principal should apply. Before we move on, on a side note, it is not only child maintenance that the maintenance court deals with. A spouse may take the other to the maintenance court for personal maintenance. Read on above a Successful Child Maintenance Appeal before the Full Bench Argued by Adv M Abduroaf Parental Maintenance Obligations Both parents have a duty of support towards their minor child’s proper living and upbringing. This should be according to their means, standard of living, station in life, and the needs of the child. This is found in our common law and further applies to divorced parents. According to section 15(2) of the Maintenance Act, the duty “extends to such support as a child reasonably requires for his or her proper ...
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Paternity Disputes and Testing and the law

Paternity Disputes and Scientific DNA Testing – Children Matters (Maintenance and Custody)

Paternity disputes and Scientific DNA Testing in Child Legal Matters Paternity disputes are not uncommon in our courts of law. What sparks them varies, however, all disputes are messy. For one, the mere allegation that he is not the father of the child may directly or indirectly affect the dignity of the mother, and that of the child. In other words, it is suggested that she had more than one sexual partner at the time, and the child was born from such a relationship. Nonetheless, the issue can speedily be resolved through scientific DNA testing. Paternity - Legal Settings There are two common legal settings where a parent (or alleged parent) would dispute paternity. The one would be in a child maintenance dispute, where the father alleges that he is not the biological father of the child, and therefore cannot be ordered to pay child maintenance. The other situation would be in a child custody or visitation dispute. Here the mother would allege that the man is not the father, or he denies paternity. Paternity Dispute Scenarios There are other scenarios where paternity can become an issue. One would be in the case of inheritance. A parent would allege that ...
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Failure to pay child maintenance – Cape Town

Non Compliance with Court Order Divorce All parents ought to see to their children’s needs whether married or unmarried. The court however, need not intervene when parents have informally agreed to see to the maintenance of the child. Most times however, divorced parents do not see eye to eye and seek the court’s intervention for child support. Our law offices boast a well experienced family legal expert who can offer you quality legal advice in child maintenance, child custody and divorce legal matters. During our years of experience, we’ve found that parties usually resort to a maintenance order when they don't see eye to eye. A maintenance order is a direct legal instruction for the parent to pay child support – failure in doing so is a serious offense. For free professional, legal expert advice on non-compliance with maintenance orders, click on our child maintenance articles below: Child maintenance questions: how much should I pay or contribute as a parent? Child maintenance support claim and answers. Child support or maintenance claims: does an unemployed father pay? How to apply for child maintenance at court: a step by step guide. Maintenance defaulters Non-compliance with maintenance orders - civil and criminal Our ...
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Child Maintenance Court Process from Start to finish – Adv. Muhammad Abduroaf

Learn how the Child Maintenance Court Application process works - Advocate Muhammad Abduroaf Watch this 10-minute video where Adv. Muhammad Abduroaf explains how child maintenance applications work. He explains the principles and the legal process. We are certain that you found the above article useful and interesting. Please consider sharing it on the share buttons below. They include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Gmail and more. Someone may find it useful as well. Should you require business advice or services, feel free to click on these links: Business SA | Private Legal | Envirolaws ...
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eNCA interview with Advocate Muhammad Abduroaf on Child Maintenance during the Lockdown

Advocate Muhammad Abduroaf being interviewed by eNCA on 18 May 2020 talking about child maintenance issues during the lockdown Advocate Muhammad Abduroaf highlights the importance of parents paying child maintenance during the lockdown and what parent can do should they be unable to pay it. Click below to view the video ...
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Child Maintenance Applications, investigation, preparation and enquiries – What you need to know, and more

Child Maintenance Applications, investigation, preparation and enquiries – What you need to know, and more. Everything you need to know when making a maintenance application at the maintenance court. This includes the filing of the complaint, up until the formal enquiry before a magistrate. The internet is well-stocked with information written by Advocate Muhammad Abduroaf regarding child maintenance applications and related issues. As he gains more experience and sees the law develop, so does he publish and spread the invaluable knowledge. However, having all that information on different webpages is not forward-thinking. Therefore, we needed to do something about it. We, therefore, decided to provide this lengthy child maintenance application online post which provides practical information from start to finish. Let us begin. Child Maintenance and Applications - How does it work? Parents must pay child maintenance according to their means. So, if a child’s expenses each month is R 90 (obviously this is a fictitious example) and the father earns R 1 000 a month and the mother R 500 a month, then if all else is equal, the father should contribute R 60 towards the minor child’s expenses, and the mother, R 30. Now that is the long ...
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There is NO Child Maintenance Payment Holiday during the National Lockdown Period!

TAKE NOTE! There is NO Child Maintenance Payment Holiday during the National Lockdown Period!

There is NO Child Maintenance Payment Holiday during the National Lockdown Period! If the other parent is refusing to pay child support during the National Lockdown period - what can you do? South Africa is now in a state of National Lockdown. As things stand at present, children are not to be moved between homes during this period. This is to limit the spread of COVID-19 / Coronavirus. A lot has been written on the topic of moving children during the lockdown period by co-holders of parental responsibilities and rights. Have a look at a few of these articles written by Our Lawyer on this topic: Parental responsibilities and care during the coronavirus lockdown in South Africa – The uncertain questions that cannot and should not be answered today (24 March 2020) Co-parenting during the South African National Lockdown period – What does the law say? – The good and the abuse (4 April 2020) Latest regulations regarding the movement of children during the National Lockdown – 30 March 2020 (6 April 2020) Update: 07 April 2020 NEW LOCKDOWN REGULATIONS REGARDING THE MOVEMENT OF CHILDREN – CERTAIN PARENTS MAY MOVE CHILDREN DURING THE NATIONAL LOCKDOWN PERIOD (7 April 2020) For ...
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Digitalising the Maintenance Court in South Africa – Going Online

Digitalising the Maintenance Courts - Going Online Should the maintenance system be digitalised in South Africa? In other words, should you be able to apply for child maintenance online, or be informed of hearing dates and so on through digital means? See what the panel has to say. Host: Felicity An Guest (Child Maintenance Difficulties SA) Panel: Muhammad Abduroaf (Advocate) – www.ourlawyer.co.za Lenina Rassool Writer, Journalist, Editor Producer: The Womxn Show Tel: 064 46O 4O99 Email: [email protected] Panel: Ayesha Karim (Attorney) - Director at Ayesha Karim Attorneys - Durban (KZN) [email protected] Farhana Ismail - Attorney, JHB ...
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Panel Discussion – Child Maintenance – Child Custody (28 March 2020 at 14:00)

Child Maintenance and Child Custody Difficulties in light of the National Lockdown - (COVID-19) Host: Felicity An Guest (Child Maintenance Difficulties SA) Panel: -Muhammad Abduroaf (Advocate) – www.ourlawyer.co.za/advocate -Nicole Lawrence (Attorney) - Attorney & Director of Nicole Lawrence Attorneys, Cape Town [email protected] 071 456 9105 (Firm cell number) -Ayesha Karim (Attorney) - Director at Ayesha Karim Attorneys- Durban (KZN) [email protected] -Dr. Lesley Ann Foster – Woman’s Rights International – www.masimanyane.org.za ...
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Child Maintenance Court Appeals and the Law

I am not happy with the Maintenance Order granted by the Maintenance Court. Can I Appeal a Maintenance Judgment?

What do I do if I am not happy with the maintenance court judgment? Is it possible to appeal it? If yes, what are the steps and laws involved? Child maintenance or child support is the right of every child. It is not only a legal right, but a moral duty on all parents to adequately care and provide for their children. Unfortunately, not all parents uphold their duty and responsibility to adequately maintain their offspring. This is a very sad reality. If this is the case, a parent having primary care needs to approach the Maintenance Court for a Maintenance Order against the other parent. This would force the parent neglecting his or her child to pay child support. You may also consider reading the following articles on maintenance court appeals: What do I do if I am not happy with the maintenance court’s ruling? Is it possible to appeal the decision? Successful Child Maintenance Appeal before the Full Bench Argued by Adv M Abduroaf Options parents have when it comes to claiming and enforcing child maintenance orders If a maintenance order has been made, and a parent against whom the order was made does not comply with its ...
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Appeal - Grahamstown High Court Port Elisabeth

Successful Child Maintenance Appeal before the Full Bench Argued by Adv M Abduroaf

There is a Legal Responsibility on the Maintenance Magistrate and Maintenance Officer to actively partake and ensure that all relevant information is before the Court in a Maintenance Enquiry. On 16 May 2019, Advocate Muhammad Abduroaf flew up from Cape Town to Port Elisabeth to argue a Child Maintenance Appeal. The Appeal was before the Full Bench of the Eastern Cape Division of the High Court of South Africa, held in Grahamstown. It is the case of N v M (CA127/2018) [2019] ZAECGHC 73.  The Judges were Acting Justice S Rugumanan, and Justice I T Stretch. Advocate Abduroaf was instructed by Nicole Lawrence Attorneys of Cape Town. The appeal was argued on 17 May 2019. The Court increased the maintenance from R 1000 – 00 per month to R 5000 – 00 with costs. A 500 percent increase. The case showcases the responsibilities of the Maintenance Magistrate and Maintenance Officer to play an active role in a maintenance enquiry. Factual Background of the Case This was an appeal in relation to a child maintenance award made by a magistrate in a maintenance enquiry in the Port Elizabeth Maintenance Court. The maintenance enquiry was concluded on 14 November 2017. On 22 ...
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Questions and Answers on Child Maintenance in South Africa

Please advice. I am a divorced father of 5 children. My take home salary is R16000 a month and my ex wife's take home is  R26000 a month. I am paying the   following: kids medical aid                                         R5000  whilst she's only alone in her medical aid Car installment                                          R4600 a month whilst she's got 2 cars Car Insurance                                            R1000  a month Rental amount of                                      R5000 a month whilst she's got 2 houses School fees for my 2 daughters of        R1400 a month 2 Kids transport fee                                 R1600 a month Elder son transport                                  R600   a month Last born's Nanny                                    R2000 a month Collecting kids to visit me                       R400 a month My food and electricity and water        R1500 a month Maintenance for all kids of about         R2000 which includes arrears I also have pay 50 percent towards clothing for all the kids including school uniform and books The Total is  - R25500 a month of which I cannot clearly afford from my R16000 take home salary. Please help me with advice as to how do I appeal this as I cant even afford an attorney. Best Regards Good day You need to make an application for the substitution of the maintenance order with ...
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Child maintenance questions and answers useful to read

I have a daughter who is 3 years old. I'm having a problem the father of my daughter doesn't support the baby every month he only deposit the money when he want. I am afraid he can leave South Africa without support her. He is from Swaziland. We advise that you approach the Maintenance Court in our area as soon as possible. If u take him to small Court u open an easy way to him to see had s child. I have been paying my maintenance ( avoiding more blackmail) since birth though not in time but never skipped a month for the past 05yrs. Now she just had another baby she decides to take me to maintenance as i refuse to double what i have been paying all this years and not just money, clothes included and a luxury pram. Now she want to go into my finance knowing very well my wife or family knows nothing bout this. She had the baby against my will. She misled me to think she was not pregnant, when I found and gave money for morning after pill and abortion. I feel like the law is protecting criminals in my case ...
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General Child Maintenance Questions and Answers

View question and answers regarding child maintenance posted on this website in the past. You may find some of the answers useful. My son is now 10 years old when he was much younger his father would pay here and there in all the years i have been supporting him... i recently got married to the man that loves my son dearly as his own. we want to change his surname also but i need his fathers permission. he said its fine but i need him to send me forms to say i may i have been wait more than over a year now and he keeps saying he is going to send it. i feel if he doesnt want me to change his surname then he should pay and help .....which he has not done in so many years.  please advise me The father will always have an obligation to support his child. Father and mother separated when she was pregnant I also have a question to ask or questions rather....my sons father and i separated when i was just a few weeks pregnant, he left me for someone else. I went through the whole pregnancy alone and he ...
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12 thoughts on “Child Maintenance – Articles and Posts

  1. Hi there

    I want to know about appealing maintenance order. The curt has defaulted in payment of future maintenance for more than 3 mnths. I wawant to take the men to the Trust cause court system is causing us grief.

    1. Good day
      we advise you approach an attorney ASAP with regard to appealing the maintenance order. There are timelines and processes that must be followed.

  2. good day

    got divorced 3 weeks back and served with a mantanance summoned and i was mantainaning my child what will happen in court beacause the mother of the child work also

  3. Hi there. I am immagrating to the UK from SA. I’m divorce and have a 15 year old son. His father has given me full consent to immagrate with our son. Does he still have to pay maintenance according to the divorce order if I live in the uk. What do I do if he doesn’t want to pay the maintenance ànymore?

  4. Gooday.
    I just want to know if I can take my baby’s father to maintenance court even if my child receive child support grand, and the father denies her child as well, he never does anything for her and his family kicked us out like dogs calling me names that to go look for the father of my child now I am no longer working I am in need of help. Also I need test to prove all this lies, my child is now 1 year he never DD anything for her he once came to hospital and never heard of him,

  5. I would like to find out if I can take my father to maintenance court, I am 20 year old student. My mom is the only person supporting me but I feel that she already has a lot to deal with since she pays everything and also has other responsibilities yet my dad on the other hand doesn’t even do a single thing for me.

    1. Good day
      Yes you can take your father to the maintenance court. He has a legal obligation to maintain you if you cannot yourself. This is so even though you are an adult. You need to approach the maintenance court in your area.

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