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.
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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 support. What is best is for parents to sit down and work out what is fair.
What is covered by child maintenance?
A vast amount of provisions is included in the concept of child support. These are not only necessities, it can be luxuries as well. This all depends on the standard of living of the parents, and what the child was accustomed to. This would even more apply if the parents were married to each other, had the child, and then separated. The law would want the child to continue with the standard of living he or she had before the separation, or divorce.
How do you determine the amount of child support?
Determining the amount to pay for child support is not an easy one. If things were simple, both parties would earn the same and have the same expenses. However, this is seldom the case. Furthermore, one should also look at the means of the parents, assets and liabilities. Therefore, if a parent does not earn much, but own an expensive piece of real estate, that would be taken into account when determining the amount, he or she should contribute. Once all the figures are on the table, a fair amount should be allocated.
When do I stop paying maintenance?
Child maintenance should be paid until the child is self-supporting or sufficient. Although the child becomes an adult at the age of eighteen, many at time, the child is still at school, studying, or trying to find a job. He or she may still claim maintenance from his or her parents. However, once the child becomes self-supporting, maintenance should stop. if there is a child maintenance order in place, such order should be set aside should the child be self-supporting.
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