Child Maintenance Saga: How a mother forced the father of her child to pay child maintenance after battling for 5 years
Maintenance Saga: When Jill was 17 years old, she met Jack. He was much older than her, working, and very charming. Jill was in her final year of high school and in love with Jack. One thing led to another, and Jill fell pregnant with his child. When she told Jack the good news, he asked her to have an abortion. She refused. Jack was then out of the picture and nowhere to be found. She did not know where he stayed, nor did she have his work details. All she had was his mobile number. This number was useless as he blocked her. The furthest thing from her mind at the time was the issue of child maintenance.
Parents finding out
Needless to say, things did not go well for Jill. Other than having to keep the fact of her pregnancy from her parents, she also had to deal with morning sickness and weight gain. After the first trimester, her parents knew something was wrong and confronted her. She told them she was pregnant. Things then just got worse. Jill’s parents took her out of school, and she was kept out of the public eye. To them, she disgraced them. What made it even worse was that Jill could not provide much information about the father of her child. Her parents, already struggling to make ends meet, had an additional burden to pay for Jill’s gynaecological visits and medication. The child was born, and Jack was still nowhere to be found. Jill named her baby James.
Realities of life
Life moved on for Jill and her child. Jill’s mother gave up her job to care for the child and Jill had to go to work. With no matric or any special skills, Jill had to get a job in retail, working the late shifts. What she earned was not enough for her and the child’s expenses. Her parents were complaining and putting pressure on her to find the father of the child to help support him. This was not the life her parents, nor she, envisaged for her.
The Shock – He was married
Jill called around, spoke to some people and found out where the father lived. It turned out, that Jack was married, since before he met Jill and has three children with his wife. When she met with Jack, he wanted nothing to do with her and said that it is not his child. He also told her that should she take him to the maintenance court, he will deny paternity. This left her despondent and she did not know what to do. He did not even want to meet the child.
Jill could not leave it at that. She had to find a way to get Jack to support his child. It is unfair that he supports his other 3 children and gives nothing towards James. She finally found out what Jack did for a living. He was a self-employed graphic designer, working from home. Nonetheless, she wanted him to pay. She, however, did not know what to do.
The Maintenance Court
Two years passed and things were not getting better financially. Jill’s mother was getting old, and her father was soon to retire. With inflation, she earned about the same as she did when she first started working. Jill then spoke to some people who advised her to approach the maintenance court for assistance and advise. She then went to the Maintenance Court. She completed the Application Form and provided all relevant information. This included the home address of Jack. She then waited. Three months later, she received a letter in the post advising her of the date she needs to appear in court for the maintenance enquiry. The Court date was a month later. She then appeared at Court, and Jack was not there. The maintenance officer had no proof that Jack knew about the court date, so she had to issue a subpoena. Jill was told to leave and that she would be notified of the next date in due course. James just turned 3.
The Blood tests
Four months later, Jill, this time received a subpoena to appear in the same maintenance court. This time, she had to appear two weeks later as they took some time to get the subpoena to her. When she entered the court, she saw Jack walking with a lady wearing a suit and holding a briefcase. He did not even greet her. Jill waited outside the maintenance officer’s office and when her name was called, she entered the office where she saw Jack and his lawyer sitting. She was the same lady she saw him walking with earlier. Before Jill could say anything, the maintenance officer told Jill that Jack is disputing paternity and that she would have to go for a blood test with the child. Obviously, if Jack is not the father of James, then Jill has no right to make the application. Everything had to be kept on hold until the results were confirmed.
The paternity outcome
The first time Jack met his son James was when the blood samples were taken. Jack still wanted nothing to do with him. When they appeared back at the maintenance court 3 months later, the results were announced. Jack was 99.99999 percent the father of James. Neither Jack nor Jill was surprised with the results. But Jack’s lawyer was. She then withdrew as his lawyer. She could not represent a client who was dishonest to her. The matter, therefore, had to be postponed for legal representation.
The Maintenance Court Delays
Three months later, Jack and Jill again appeared before the maintenance officer. This time, Jack came with his wife. She, however, had to sit outside the office when the maintenance enquiry took place. Jack said he could not afford a lawyer and neither could Jill. When asked to produce his income and expenses, he said he did not have any. He also said that all monies he gets paid go into his banking account. But for the past 6 (six) months, he did not earn any money. The case was then postponed for Jack to bring copies of the last 6-months bank statements and for the maintenance investigator to look into the matter. The matter was then postponed for another 3 months. James was turning 4.
The paternal grandparents
When the parties appeared before the maintenance officer, Jack provided his bank statements. It depicted that he did not earn anything for the past 3 months. The maintenance investigator also could not find anything of value to show that James had money. Jill knew that Jack was lying about his income, but because he got paid in cash, there was no proof of the fact. It was then decided that they will call in the paternal grandparents to contribute towards James’s maintenance. This made Jack very nervous as his parents did not know that he had a son. Nonetheless, they were subpoenaed to Court. The matter was then again postponed for 3 months.
The maintenance settlement
When the parents of James and his grandparents appeared at the Maintenance Court, they were distraught. Never would they have thought they would ever have to visit a Court. What made it worse was that they were there because their son did not want to pay child support for his child. Embarrassed with the situation, Jack agreed to pay child support to James, on condition that his parents are kept out of the settlement. Jill agreed, and a maintenance order was granted.
Moral of the story
Never give up on claiming child maintenance for your child. Even if it takes you almost 5 years.
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View some of our other Child Maintenance Articles below
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 ...Read More
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 ...Read More
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Child Maintenance Saga: How a mother forced the father of her child to pay child maintenance after battling for 5 years Maintenance Saga: When Jill was 17 years old, she met Jack. He was much older than her, working, and very charming. Jill was in her final year of high school and in love with Jack. One thing led to another, and Jill fell pregnant with his child. When she told Jack the good news, he asked her to have an abortion. She refused. Jack was then out of the picture and nowhere to be found. She did not know where he stayed, nor did she have his work details. All she had was his mobile number. This number was useless as he blocked her. The furthest thing from her mind at the time was the issue of child maintenance. Parents finding out Needless to say, things did not go well for Jill. Other than having to keep the fact of her pregnancy from her parents, she also had to deal with morning sickness and weight gain. After the first trimester, her parents knew something was wrong and confronted her. She told them she was pregnant. Things then just got ...Read More
Rule 43 Application – Maintenance Pendente Lite – High Court – Cape Town Whilst you are in the process of divorcing your spouse, you may require the Western Cape High Court to assist you with regard to maintenance, or contact with your child. You may want the Court to Order t your spouse pays a portion of your legal fees, as well. This can all be done while the divorce is still pending. In the High Court, the court procedure to follow is outlined in its Uniform Rule 43. That is where the term “Rule 43 Applications” come from. Family Law Questions and Answers Should you not find what you are looking for, feel free to post your questions on our blog, by clicking on the following links: Divorces – Questions and Answers Child Custody – Questions and Answers Child Maintenance – Question and Answers Domestic Violence – Questions and Answers You are welcome to call us on 021 424 3487 / For other legal and business services, feel free to visit: Business SA or Private Legal. Below was provide you with the entire rule 43, as well with an example of the Notice when making use of the rule. The ...Read More
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Support – Frequently Asked Questions on Child Maintenance Support and Child Maintenance: We proud ourselves on our knowledge on family law matters in South Africa. This includes issues and questions surrounding child maintenance. Feel free to browse through the this or question and answers below. Should you not find the answer to a child maintenance question you are look for, feel free to post your divorce question here. Child Maintenance links How to Apply for Child Maintenance at Court – Step by Step Guide and Advice Child Maintenance Question. How much should I pay or contribute as a parent? Child Support or maintenance claims. Does an unemployed father pay? Non-compliance with Maintenance Orders — Civil and Criminal Remedies Tricks and tips on how to win your child maintenance case How much is the average child support a parent must pay Cape Town? There is no average. It all depends on the needs of the child and the income of the parents. How much do you get for child support in Cape Town? It depends on the income of the parents and the needs of the child. How do you determine the amount of child support? You look at the needs ...Read More
Tricks and tips on how to win your child maintenance case Advocate Muhammad Abduroaf – Advocate of the High Court of South Africa Child maintenance legal issues might sound simple, compare to, for example, a criminal case of fraud. However, a child maintenance case could be much more complicated, challenging and exhausting. That, however, does not have to be the case. At least not always. Find out some of the tips and tricks provided by Advocate Muhammad Abduroaf, a family law expert with more than a decade of experience in family law, and child maintenance matters. Read on to find out some tips and tricks of the trade. Valuable advice is given on what to do through the maintenance court process. Download your Child Maintenance Calculator, click here. (021) 424 3487 Child Maintenance and Applications – How does it work? The focus of this article is not to explain how child maintenance work, or how to apply for child maintenance. There are many articles written on that topic. But in short, parents must pay according to their means. So, if a child’s expense the month is R 60 (obviously this is a fictitious example) and the father earns R 500 ...Read More
How much child support should you claim or pay? Advocate Muhammad Abduroaf – Advocate of the High Court of South Africa It is not only mothers who want to know how much maintenance they should claim. Fathers are very much interested in wanting to know how much they should pay. It is my view that there is nothing wrong with a father wanting to know whether or not he is paying too much maintenance. This is so as it is both parent’s responsibilities to maintain a child according to their means. However, what I do have the issue with is when fathers try to avoid their maintenance obligations. Even if you are unemployed, you can still pay maintenance depending on your means. And then you have mothers who want to exploit the fathers. The same applies when the roles are reversed. This is when the father is the primary caregiver and the mother pays him child support. – Adv. Muhammad Abduroaf LL.B LL.M – Advocate of the High Court of South Africa. Purchase a Consultation with us from our Online Shop, by clicking here. Common child maintenance questions How much child support should I claim for my child? How much ...Read More
I have a maintenance order for my children – but the father of my children does not pay. Is this allowed? What can I do? Non-compliance with Maintenance Orders — Civil and Criminal Remedies [Updated on 17 October 2018] Many mothers (and sometimes fathers) go through great lengths to obtain a maintenance order against the other parent. This the mother found necessary as the father either did not want to pay child support at all, or not an adequate amount. The mother then had to approach the maintenance court, for assistance. The process could have taken many months and sometimes, over a year to finalise. But now that she has the Order, he still does not pay. Can she do anything? Or does she only have in her possession a useless piece of paper with the word “Order” written on it? Before we tackle the above scenario, this blog post does not only deal with non-compliance with maintenance orders originating in the maintenance court. Most divorce orders made, where there were minor children involved have in it child maintenance provisions. The divorce court (High Court or Family Court) would not divorce the couple unless it is satisfied that the child’s ...Read More
What is child maintenance / child support? The terms “child maintenance” or “child support” is pretty much self-explanatory. To put it simply, it is when both parents sees to the needs and well-being of their child / children. Needs can be classified as food, clothes, education, medical expenses and other general maintenance of the child’s living costs. Child Maintenance Law This is where the guidance and help of a family law legal professional comes in handy. To understand the rules and regulations that govern child maintenance/child support, expert legal advice is required from a professional. The Child Support Act is there to ensure that both parents fulfill their legal obligations towards their child/children. In other words, the Act ensures that parents continue taking care of their children even after divorce. Child Maintenance includes the basic necessities such as: Shelter Clothing Medical Care Schooling Food Any legal executions regarding maintenance shall be carried out in accordance with the Child Maintenance Act. Maintenance Court Procedure Find out where about is the closest magistrates’ court in your area and pay them a visit. It is however, important to bring along the necessary documents such as: Birth certificate of your child/children. Your identity document ...Read More
Maintenance Court Johannesburg There are number of child maintenance courts in Johannesburg. Below are local maintenance courts that could be close to your area: Johannesburg Family Court Centre – Magistrates’ Court Johannesburg Central Magistrate Court – Magistrates’ Court Hillbrow Magistrates Court – Magistrates’ Court Call us on: 0214243487Email: [email protected]
To claim child maintenance/child support, you should visit your closest maintenance court in your area. Maintenance Court Procedure Find out where about is the closest magistrates’ court in your area and pay them a visit. The following will be required: Birth certificate of your child/children. Your identity document. Proof of residence. A divorce settlement. Proof of your monthly income and expenses. The personal details of the parent required to pay maintenance such as their name, surname physical and work address. Copy of your bank statement. Call us on: 0214243487Email: [email protected]
In attempt to claim maintenance, you will have to fill in a detailed form stipulated by the Magistrate’s Court. This form shall request all details regarding your income and expenses – lighter expenses such as entertainment and pocket money are also included. Expenses of parents and the child are however, listed separately. The court however, will take a number of factors ...Read More
Child Maintenance / Support Questions and Answers Our Lawyer (Pty) Ltd introduced this Child Maintenance / Support Questions and Answers page for you to post questions you may have on the topic. For example, if you want to know how much child maintenance to claim, pose a question with some background facts. At the same time, should you be able to assist others who posted questions below, requiring some advice on Child Maintenance / Support, please proceed and reply to their comments. In that manner, we would all be able to assist each other and increase our online knowledge base. Therefore, although we a are legal consultancy, specialising in family law, you may have problems or experiences that we have not encountered. Let us share in our knowledge of Child Maintenance / Support. Want to know more about Rule 43 Applications in the High Court and Rule 58 Applications in the Magistrates' Court? Click here. Other family law resources on this website There are various other family law resources on this website that you may find useful. For example, there is a downloadable child maintenance calculator. The resources may assist you with whatever questions you have, or information you require ...Read More
Child Maintenance and Support Every Child is entitled to have adequate child maintenance from his parents. This includes the provision of food, clothing, shelter, education and healthcare. These provisions are to be provided by both his or her mother and father. If one parent cannot afford any support, then other the parent would be responsible for the time being. However, support can still be claimed from the child’s maternal and paternal grandparents. What follows are some answers to a few questions on child maintenance. We are conveniently located in the Pinnacle Building, in the Cape Town CBD. Click here to call us on (021) 4243487 or send us an email. How much is the basic rate or amount of child maintenance? There is no basic rate for child maintenance. The amount depends on various factors, which includes the needs of the child, the income of the parents, as well as their personal expenses. There are many other factors as well. The law expects parents to contribute based on their means. Therefore, in principle, but not easily applied in practice, if a mother earns double of that the father, and has the same monthly expenses, she would pay double in child ...Read More
Father’s Rights – Child Custody, Child Maintenance and Divorce Our law offices is a family legal consultancy that deals with family legal matters. We have single fathers walking into our offices on a regular basis, asking about their legal rights regarding their children. It is by no surprise that many mothers deprive the kids from seeing their father – this is sometimes done out of spite. It is however, sad to watch how the children are often used as battle grounds. We have compiled a range of online legal articles that explains the rights of fathers. These online articles contain free, expert legal advice compiled by the legal expert himself: Child custody visitation access- questions and answers Child custody frequently asked questions Father refused contact to his child. What are his rights? Father’s parental responsibilities and rights to his child. How do I get full custody over my child? Parental child abuse in custody cases- Cape Town What does it mean when you have primary residential custody? What happens in a case custody dispute when one parent is mentally ill? Feel free to call our law offices on 021 424 3487 today, for an online appointment for a professional legal consultation ...Read More
Free DIY Online Tools to get Divorced, apply for Child Maintenance, and other Free Legal Resources Knowing the law is one thing, but knowing how to enforce and apply it, is another story. We all know that parents should pay child support; the law says so. But what do you do if a parent refuses to pay? This page provides assistance in three (3) aspects of family law. The first is regarding Divorce, then Child Maintenance, and the other, is that of contact to your child during the holiday season. We do advise that you make use of the services of a legal practitioner to assist you in your divorce matter or application for contact to your child. However, legal services costs money, which is not always available. Should you decide to make use of the resources provided in this post, and this website, we strongly advise that you obtain legal advise before proceeding. Do your own divorce If a marriage has broken down, and there are no reasonable prospects of the restoration of the normal marital relationship, a divorce may be the best solution. Having said that, there are certain proprietary and parental issues that needs to be tabled ...Read More
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. Call our law offices on: 0214243487Email: [email protected]
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 ...Read More
Failure to comply with a maintenance order First of all, what is a maintenance order? A maintenance order is a direct instruction from the court to the parent, to pay child maintenance/child support. Call our law offices on: 0214243487Email us at: [email protected]
Maintenance defaulters very seriously and therefore, failure to comply with the order is classified as a criminal charge. This implies that the order is legally enforceable – in other words, the court can, and will intervene. The defaulting parent can therefore lay a criminal charge at the court after they have applied for a maintenance order at the Magistrates Court. Maintenance Court Procedure Every local area will have its own magistrate’s court which is also a maintenance court that deal with maintenance legal matters. You may visit your closest magistrate’s court in which the maintenance officer will advise you as to what to bring along. Call our law offices on: 0214243487Email us at: [email protected]
When trying to claim for maintenance or apply for an order, you will need to bring along: Your identity document Your child’s birth certificate A payslip to show what you earn Bills and receipts that could be of help The name of the other ...Read More
Maintenance Court Cape Town There are number of child maintenance courts in your local area in Cape Town. Below are local maintenance courts that could be close to your area: Athlone Maintenance Court Mitchell’s Plain Maintenance Court Wynberg Maintenance Court Call us on: 0214243487Email: [email protected]
To claim child maintenance/child support, you should visit your closest maintenance court in your area. Maintenance Court Procedure Find out where about is the closest magistrates’ court in your area and pay them a visit. When visiting the Maintenance Court, bring along the necessary documents such as: Birth certificate of your child/children. Your identity document. Proof of residence. A divorce settlement. Proof of your monthly income and expenses. The personal details of the parent required to pay maintenance such as their name, surname physical and work address. Copy of your bank statement. Call our offices on: 0214243487Email: [email protected]
In attempt to claim maintenance, you will have to fill in a detailed form stipulated by the Magistrate’s Court. This form shall request all details regarding your income and expenses. Lighter expenses such as entertainment and pocket money are also included. Expenses of parents and the child are however, listed separately. The court however, will take a ...Read More
Gay and Lesbian (Same-sex) Divorces in South Africa – How does it work? As with any marriage, relationship or romantic partnership, there is no guarantee that it will last until death do you part. For a marriage, a divorce is what is needed if the marriage has irretrievably broken down. Much has been written on the issue of divorces in relation to heterosexual marriages where the Marriage Act find application. The same applies to customary marriages. What about same-sex, or gay and lesbian couples who are married and want to get divorced? Does the law cater for such marriages? And how are they different from heterosexual divorces. Before we deal with the dissolution aspect of a same-sex marriage, let us first deal with the validity and legality of the same-sex marriage itself. What are same-sex marriages? This sounds like a simple question. However, without presuming too much, let us unpack the law. Here we will look at the Civil Union Act 17 of 2006. It is this Act of Parliament that made same-sex marriages legal in South Africa. Civil Union Act, 17 of 2006 According to the Civil Union Act, a “civil union” means the voluntary union of two persons ...Read More