Child Support or maintenance claims. Does an unemployed father pay?

Child Support or maintenance claims. Does an unemployed father pay?

How much child support should you claim or pay?

Advocate of the High Court South Africa Family Law Advocate
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 child support should I pay for my children?
  • The father of my child is unemployed, should I still claim child support?

These are two questions which are posed to me regularly. But what is the answer? What follows are certain factors I use to determine the amount of child support my clients should claim or pay when dealing with a child support matter.

Factors to consider regarding child support amounts

There are many factors to consider when it comes to figures in child support matters. Some are common to most people. However, depending on the situation, they won’t be the same for everyone. Remember, the explanation below is provided for information purposes only. The formula I follow is as follows:

  1. What are the reasonable monthly needs of the child? If you can place an amount to it, do so.
  2. The monthly income and expenses of both parents. The assets of the parents should also be considered should they not have an income or be unemployed.
  3. What can each parent reasonably contribute towards the monthly expenses of the child?


Want to know more about Rule 43 Applications in the High Court and Rule 58 Applications in the Magistrates’ Court? Click here.

Reasonable needs of a child – Basic Maintenance Question

advice-child-maintenance-child-custody-divorceThe reasonable needs of a child include food, clothing, accommodation, medical expenses and so on. Depending on the standard of living of the parents, or what the child is accustomed to, as seen later, it could include extramural expenses, the upkeep of a pony, and piano lessons.

Once you determined what the child’s needs are, and what the parents can afford, you can determine what each parent should contribute. This amount should factor in once off yearly expenses. For example, school fees, TV and Car licenses and membership fees and so on. Let me explain this by way of example.

Purchase a Consultation with us from our Online Shop, by clicking here.

Income and expenses of child and parents

  • Child’s expense: R 1 000 – 00.
  • Custodian Parent’s income: R 10 000 – 00.
  • Custodian Parent’s monthly expenses: R 5 000 – 00.
  • Paying parent’s income: R 20 000 – 00.
  • Paying parent’s monthly expenses: R 10 000 – 00.

Considering the above example, the paying parent earns double that of the custodian parent. And his or her monthly expenses are proportionately the same as that of the has parent. Therefore, if all else being equal, his or her contribution should be double of that of the custodian parent. If the paying parent becomes unemployed, his maintenance obligations does nott come to an end. He may have other means. If he has a flashy car, he needs to downgrade and use some of that money for maintenance.

Final child maintenance amount:

The Paying parent would pay two thirds of the child’s expenses which equates to R 666 – 00 per month. And the custodian parent would thus cover the balance of R 334 – 00 per month. The R 666 – 00 would be less should he pay any of the minor child’s expenses directly. For example, medical aid or school fees.

The challenge regarding child maintenance amounts

The golden rule in all matters regarding children is that their best interest be upheld. However, in child maintenance matters it is not as easy as saying that the child needs to have the best of clothes, education, and food available. By taking this view, it would be as saying that during the parents’ marriage, or while the parents lived together, the child went to the best school in the area, wore the best of clothes and ate the best of food. This is so, notwithstanding the parents earning a far below average income. Such a legal approach would be nonsensical. Another challenge is when the paying parent is self-employed or unemployed. In the case of self-employed parents, their income varies. However, what we look at is the average they earn each month. For an unemployed parent, as stated, we look at their means.

Factors the Court considers in Child Maintenance Matters

Each child maintenance case is determined on its own merits by weighing various factors. There are certain overlapping factors. The factors to consider are:

  • The reasonable needs of the minor child;
  • The reasonable expenses of the parents;
  • The standard of living the child was accustomed to while the parties were married or living together (if applicable);
  • The earning capacity of the parents; and
  • The assets of the parents.

Therefore, it does not mean every 5-year-old child will require a child maintenance contribution of R 500 00 (five hundred rands). A contribution of R 500 – 00 for a specific 5-year-old child might be reasonable or even too high, depending on the circumstances. Let me provide you with two scenarios:

Purchase a Consultation with us from our Online Shop, by clicking here.

Scenario A – Child Maintenance

A 5-year-old child’s parents each earns R 500 – 00 per month. They were bringing up the child perfectly under the circumstances with their modest standard of living which is the norm in the area they live in. Furthermore, this is the same standard the parents were accustomed to when they were raised by their parents. If they are to estimate the costs of the child, it would be about R 200 – 00 per month which goes to food, shelter, clothes etc.

Should the parents separate or divorce, and, let’s say in this case, the mother claims maintenance from the father for child support, she would not have a case for more than R 150 – 00 per month. You might wonder why I don’t say R 100 – 00 per month seeing that the parents earned the same salary? The mother in this scenario had to find alternative accommodation, and therefore the child would require more maintenance (it could even be less).

Scenario B – Child Maintenance

Let’s say the parents of a 5-year-old child each earns R 50 000 – 00 per month. The child has an au pair, own room, policies in his or her favour, expensive clothes, medical aid, expensive creams, attends ballet and violin classes etc. The monthly costs of this child are about R 25 000 – 00 per month. Should the parents separate, a claim for maintenance could easily be in the region of R 15 000 – 00. R 14 850 – 00 more than the 5-year-old child in the previous scenario above. The amount to pay therefore all depends on the facts, circumstances etc.

To make things more complicated, if the mother in this scenario have assets worth millions and the father only owns a car of R 100 000 – 00, his contribution could be far less than R 15 000 – 00, even if they have the same monthly salary. It is even possible that his contribution could be R 150 – 00 (and not R 15 000 – 00) as in the case of scenario A above. All these factors have to be discussed with your maintenance lawyer or advocate.

I hope this gave you a feel for how child support or child maintenance is calculated. Therefore, in answering the questions posed above, i.e. How much child support should you claim for your child, and how much child maintenance should you pay; the answer is, it depends on the facts.

Other maintenance calculation views

You or your attorney or advocate might have one view on what the amount should be, however the other parent or the maintenance court might have a totally different view. I therefore strongly advise that you first consult with a maintenance lawyer or advocate, or the maintenance court before submitting your amount to the court. In complicated cases, an advocate may be approached by your attorney for an opinion.

Sharing is Caring

This and other articles and posts found on this website are written by Adv. Muhammad Abduroaf to assist people with various family law related issues they may have. If you find any of our articles and posts interesting, or possibly useful to others, please link and share it on Social media.advice-child-maintenance-child-custody-divorce

Should you require any other legal services and advice, not related to family law, visit Private Legal or Business SA.

About the Author

Advocate South Africa

Legal Advisor for Our Lawyer (Pty) Ltd
Call 0211110090
For appointments: https://www.ourlawyer.co.za/advice

368 thoughts on “Child Support or maintenance claims. Does an unemployed father pay?

  1. hi.., I’m currently unemployed looking for something in the meantime im strugglingto supportthe child financial my parents a doingso, while my baby daddy is a tender entrepreneur he invoice lot of money from the manucipality after he completed a project. he doesn’t help me with the child at all since the child was born and my son is 3 years old.

  2. What do I do if I feel my childs case is not being treated fairly in court? I have a one year old and his father has been making excuses, but not paying maintenance since the child was born. He works for a private company and lives a very flashy lifestyle which he publicly posts on social media as well. When our child was 3months old, he purchased himself a brand new VW Polo. When I took the mater to the maintenance court he lied about his employment status and claimed that the car was purchased as a gift from his parents, not by him. He then said that he can only afford to maintain our child with R400 a month. I am deeply saddened and frustrated because the court simply believes everything he says without further investigation and do not even bother to look at the evidence I present. I have receipts amounting to an average of R2000 per month in childcare expenses. I am currently unemployed and depend on an informal braiding services to people within my community. Sometimes things get so bad my child goes without formula and I substitute with cows milk as it is cheaper. I am so depressed and even contemplate suicide because I do not know how much longer I can keep up living like this and watching my child suffer. Please help

    1. We would suggest you complain to the higher court offers etc. The other option is to appeal. However that can be complicated. Or go to the media etc. Someone will listen.

  3. I have been raising my daughter alone for the past almost 15 years and her father recently started giving me R800 or less depending on how he feels and I have now had to take my daughter out of normal school but she received a partial scholarship at an online high school. I paid almost R3000 on school fees a month last year and transport money of almost R4000 due to there not being any good schools close by, I would like to see her going back to school should she choose and does not want to continue with the online high school. I have never refused him access to her but he stayed away and now thinks he can harass me whenever he feels like it. I remarried 5 years ago and am currently the bread winner at home. My daughter’s father got married when she was under two years old and divorced not long after and has another child who he supports too but he also started a new job at the beginning of the year with better pay. Can I request any back pay if I do apply for maintenance. I just feel like I should not have to choose whether my child goes to school or has food to eat.

  4. I live with a ten months old son, i am a student when the baby is sick i pay Dr, during the day when i am at school a nanny look after him i still pay that nanny, i pay rent. His father only gives a R1000 sometimes R500 or R800 and he is working for a government. I need an advice

  5. I have a 3 year old and the father just calls to check up on call how the child is doing its been 7 months now since he gave anything for the child nd that time he gave shoes that was after 9 months..he says his not working but i also not working am just doing peace jobs that I get paid by hand..my child been to crech since 4 months what should I do.

  6. My husband got divorced many years ago and maintenance was awared. Subsequently the primary residence changed to equal shared residencey and again it changed to us having primary residency (going in to the 4th month now) and the kids only going to their mom every second weekend. We are still paying his ex wife the same maintenance awarded by the court before residency changed. Can we get this reduced although his ex wife is unemployed? We pay all the costs for the kids and they now live with us.

  7. Hi
    My husband lost his job but ever since then he never skipped maintenance. However the mother of his children still took him to court for an increase knowing he doesn’t have a stable job but still make sure he pays maintenance. Can he refuse the increase as financially his not by means to pay more. He even made arrangements with the school to pay school fees as the mother failed to pay that but father sends maintenance every month. I help him but the mother keep threatening he will go to jail even if he pays 2days late. Can my husband show the court his already paying extra outside of maintenance amount and he cannot pay more ? Father should also have rights isn’t it? My husband is afraid he wil get pushed by the maintenance officer and force him to pay more which he is not by means too

  8. Iv got a question say, your wife wants to leave you and when she was living with you all expenses regarding her and the child were paid by you, now when she leaves she’ll be un-employed and moving to a different city. Can I apply for primary custody of my child?

    1. You can always apply, but the principle the court could apply is what is best for the children. All factors and history will be considered.

  9. Hi. My daughter is 7 months and the father is sending 600 sometimes nothing while he is earning 20 000. He got married when my baby was 4 months and he is supporting kids which are not his.

  10. Good day,
    My daughter is 19. She lives with me and I support her fully. Her dad took responsibility to pay for her College fees, he signed the contract. He hasn’t paid for 6 months now and apart from paying R450, for the WIFI and I even have to fight for this every month.
    She is considering to take him to maintenance court, however, she wants to ask for more than the school fees. Do you think she will have a case against him?
    I don’t mind submitting my bank statements and expenses as I am paying rent, electricity, food and all other needs. I dont earn a huge salary and can’t afford to pay the R3500 a month for school fees.
    Apart from his cell number we do not have any other information on him. How can we go ahead with this?

    1. Good day
      We advise she approaches the maintenance court. Yes, provide details of your income and expenses as well. She has as case.

  11. 14 years ago i was working in another province and met my daughter’s mother. we were not in a serious relationship. i went back home and made up with my girlfriend who is now my wife of 12 years. I have never heard of the my daughter’s mother until she found me on Facebook in November 2021 and told me that i have a 12 year old daughter. She told me that she do not want any financial support but only want me and my daughter to have a bond. Without hesitation i accepted but i have never physically met my daughter, only saw pictures of her. 2 February 2022 she told me that she will take me to magistrate court for maintenance and she told my wife that she don’t see the need why my wife should be involved in the financial matters of our daughter if she needs money for the child. What rights do i have as an unemployed father? She kept my daughter away from me for 12 years and now expect child maintenance.

  12. Hi. If an 18 year old (finished with school) stays with her boyfriend who is working and earning an income should I still pay maintenance?

  13. Goodday,
    I have an existing order for R1300 but my child is now 21yrs and in a private institution doing 2nd year studies. Can I sue her father for the monies I have paid thus far for her tertiary fees?

  14. Hi

    I would like to find out, can i take the father of my child to court for maintenance he is not working but has a flat that he is renting out he gets rent money each and every month?and what is the process or what steps should i take first? please assist

  15. Good Morning

    I am a single mom, my son is turning 2 yrs old in December 2021, I broke up with my ex( the father) in 2019 the same month my son was born. He (the father) has been unemployed since we started dating and claims to be unemployed still, but has told me one two occasions by accident that is is before deleting the messages.
    To the point, he hasn’t payed a cent towards our son, he lives in KZN and I live in Cape Town. His parents claim that they are poor and cannot afford clothes for themselves. I am struggling to pay for expenses for myself ( I work full time and I’m studying part time) all my money goes towards my son and living expenses, I can’t even afford medical aid. The father doesn’t ask about our son and I have to almost force conversation from him. He’s clearly not interested, but I’m suffering thinking about how his clothes are getting too small and how he has no winter clothes that fit.
    What should I do? I wanted to take this to court in December because I can’t keep living like this, I cannot afford anything for myself life is just too expensive.

  16. Good day. Can you go to mainteance court to apply for maintenance increase and arrears maintenance without a lawyer. Or is it law to attend court with a lawyer?

  17. Hi my late sisters son is living with me and have a 3 year old daughter.
    The child was sick and the mother went to a tavern and they had an argument since then she don’t want him or his grandmother of 71 cant see his child. He is unemployed at the moment but he support her when working. She also refuse him a fone call on his childs birthday.
    Please need advice

  18. Hi All

    My wife cheated on me and moved out with my kids I see them as much as I can but sometimes due to work I’m unable to see them. She makes plans and expects me to conform to her plans. We took out a loan for a car while we were married and agreed to pay it i sold the car we bought and she got herself a car and made me sell mine saying we only need one car. i pay there medical aid and buy what they need sometimes like nappies wetwipes but because im paying a loan both of us benefited from on my name the payments for maintenance gets pushed to that cost until its complete then i will continue to pay her the amount for maintenance can i get some guidance on what to expect when going to children’s court

  19. What should the primary carer do if the person paying maintenance notifies them that they cannot pay because they are now unemployed. Should the primary carer go to the courts to fill out forms etc or what should they do?

    1. The paying parent needs to approach the court to change the order. The court would listen to both sides. If the paying parent did not do so, then the caring parent should lay a complaint at the court. It is however best that the parents resolve this issue.

  20. Hi I just need to know something…I am a single mother of 3 kids and the sole supporter to my kids the father has not supported them ever since birth he has lived off me aswell I have a part time job the father is now unemployed because he had absconded from work .he now lives with his parents they have build a backroom for him so he lives there his parents have had a very bad influence on our kids so I’ve been keeping my kids away from them I’ve allow the father right to see them even without him supporting them .I dont allow my kids to go to his place because they father has been abusive towards me and the kids a while back and his mother had gotten me falsely arrested from my work because I had her son locked up for domestic violence. Hense he would drink every weekend with his father and especially in 5he bad environment they are in come home and abuse us his mothers case had been trown out against me because it was false …now I would like to know the following

    The grandfather of my kids has his own taxi business but he is a pension and so is his wife are they still to pay the maintenance towards the kids since the father is unemployed?
    Will the grandparents be granted rights to have my kids with them if they are to pay the maintenance on behalf of their son ?
    Given that they are bad influence towards my kids they are alcoholics they drink almost every day and they encourage there own sons behavior towards his own kids which I am against my kids can not grow up in such an unhealthy environment .
    What are my grounds if going to court ?

    1. Good day. If the father cannot afford to pay, then the grandparents from both sides can be approached and the court can order them to pay. Paying maintenance and having contact with the kids are two separate issues. Therefore if they are ordered to pay, it does not mean they have rights of contact to the kids. That is a separate issue. We advise you to approach the maintenance court.

  21. Hi
    My husband has a child with another woman. They had a child long before we met. He has been maintaining his child since she was born to date. We married in community of property. We included that child in our medical aid and we even pay for extra medical costs, we further pay for the maintenance fee each month. The baby mama got married to another man and they stay with my step child. I would like to know whether is still necessary to continue paying for the monthly maintenance fee since we are paying for the medical Bill (according to the law)?

    1. Good day
      Both parents must maintain their child. The extent thereof depends on various factors. This includes the need of the child, and the income and the means of the parents. Based on that, a fair amount must be paid. We suggest the father speaks to the mother and discuss the child’s needs and the parents’ income and expenses. Based on that, they can determine if maintenance must still be paid, or how much.

  22. Good day I’m a single mother of 3 with all kids living with me I currently lost my job due to unfair dismissal ever since I was working the father of my 2 kids never really supported me they are now age 14 and 13 yrs I want to know if I can claim maintatance from him.

  23. Hi, the mother of my child has reported me to the maintainance court to pay child support. I have other kids also. I what want to know is can i request they reduce what she wants based on the fact that i am supporting other kids even though im not supporting them through the court? Also, can i request to stay with the child so that i do not have to pay the huge amount she want because i cannot afford it?


    1. Good day
      The court will look at everything, including what you are paying for your other children and come to an amount. The issue of waiting to have the child, that you need to take to the children’s court.

  24. Hi, I applied for child maintenance at the Bellville maintenance court in 2018 January, at the end of October the court granted a court order for maintenance to be paid by my child’s father. To this day he has never paid and i have been to maintenance office 3 times already where i submitted requests for the court to attach property being the last of the forms i completed this year in February 2020, i also asked that they charge him as a criminal case because over 2 and half years he has told me directly that i could go to whichever court he will never pay child maintenance towards me. Mentioned this to the maintenance officer and seemingly nothing is being done by the court as i called and they couldn’t find the last form i submitted to attach property towards outstanding amounts. I am out of options and not sure what to do as it seems like SA law is really not that strict enough for me to trust that this guy will ever pay towards maintenance and seemingly his high claim of never paying maintenance will eventually be true. He has business and also operates taxis the court keeps telling me they investigate but seems to me like their investigations are headed nowhere cause nothing is being done about the default. I have asked about options of getting his business to pay but was given a form to freeze bank assets which was also failed attempt. How can i move forward with this and ensure that this guy pays maintenance, can i implicate his parents or current partner as people responsible to pay if he is claiming that as a 35 year old he is supported by family denying that he has undeclared taxi business and other businesses. Does court investigator bot have access to even this persons tax to better incestigate, i am puzzled by it all. Thanks

    1. You find yourself in a very unfortunate situation. It is the duty of the maintenance courts to assist parents. They are clearly not doing their job. Yes, the maintenance investigator can obtain tax information with a subpoena.

  25. Hi, I applied for child maintenance at the Bellville maintenance court in 2018 January, at the end of October the court granted a court order for maintenance to be paid by my child’s father. To this day he has never paid and i have been to maintenance office 3 times already where i submitted requests for the court to attach property being the last of the forms i completed this year in February 2020, i also asked that they charge him as a criminal case because over 2 and half years he has told me directly that i could go to whichever court he will never pay child maintenance towards me. Mentioned this to the maintenance officer and seemingly nothing is being done by the court as i called and they couldn’t find the last form i submitted to attach property towards outstanding amounts. I am out of options and not sure what to do as it seems like SA law is really not that strict enough for me to trust that this guy will ever pay towards maintenance and seemingly his high claim of never paying maintenance will eventually be true. He has business and also operates taxis the court keeps telling me they investigate but seems to me like their investigations are headed nowhere cause nothing is being done about the default. I have asked about options of getting his business to pay but was given a form to freeze bank assets which was also failed attempt. How can i move forward with this and ensure that this guy pays maintenance, can i implicate his parents or current partner as people responsible to pay if he is claiming that as a 35 year old he is supported by family denying that he has undeclared taxi business and other businesses. Does court investigator bot have access to even this persons tax to better incestigate, i am puzzled by it all. Thanks

    1. You find yourself in a very unfortunate situation. It is the duty of the maintenance courts to assist parents. They are clearly not doing their job. Yes, the maintenance investigator can obtain tax information with a subpoena.

  26. Good day. My wife and separated in February 2019. From February to April I paid R10, 000 in maintenance per no th for my daughter. Then from May to December I paid R15, 000 per month. I was retrenched (along with half the other executives of the company due to lack of funding – government sponsored business). I was retrenched in November and so the payment made for December was my savings). I was unemployed from December 2019 to March 2020, however, I still took care of my daughter 2 days a week and two weekends a month. I found temporary work from March to April at a guesthouse, but with the Corona lockdown it seems that I will be out of work at the end of April. Currently I owe an amount of R60, 000, at R15, 000 per month for 4 months. I have made a plan to pay back the outstanding R60, 000 but, I fear that after April I will definitely not be in a position to pay that amount – until I am able to find work again. Firstly, is an amount of R15, 000 per month reasonable for a 6 year old? We were married ANC with accrual, yet I opted not to take anything and instead offers for my ex wife to take the home and the business that we built over a 10 year period – whereby I claimed nothing from her. Please could you advise on what I should do to have the maintainace order reviewed? Thank you for your time in this matter.

    1. Good day
      You would need to make an application to the maintenance court for a reduction in maintenance. The Court would decide whether or not it is justified after listening to you and your wife and the evidence presented.

  27. Am 22 year unemployed, my ex boyfriend stopped maintaining my baby from 1st February 2020, I tried calling him he blocked my calls, currently am living with my parents both working, my mother helps wherever she can with the baby but it’s not fair since she’s also supporting me and my sisters. My child gets social grant but it’s not enough for a 5month baby. Help me should I sue for maintenance? Oh my ex boyfriend is a school teacher

  28. Good day,

    I am a single mother of a 14 year old girl. Both her father and myself are self employed, I am not certain as to how much he earns, but we agreed years ago on a 4000 per month payment and then he pays her school fees as well. He has not been paying each month and sometimes pays nothing, sometimes 1000 or more, but it is not regular and he currently says he cannot pay her school fees of 2400 per month. How do I work out what he should be paying me and how do I then go about setting up an agreement, our current agreement has been verbal only. Thanks so much

  29. Good day,

    My Ex husband was paying maintenance in the amount of R5000 per month for both of our children. he just lost his Job and told he he wont be paying a cent until further notice. Can he do this? i have explained that my salary can’t meet the children’s basic needs, but he couldn’t care less. Infact it seems asif hes on some power trip, telling me there’s absolutely nothing i can do and must just accept it.

    1. We advise you approach the maintenance court either way. They would be able to advise you accordingly. Maintenance orders can also be made against grandparents.

  30. Hi there, am am 23 year old mom, unemployed and the father of my 3months old daughter, since she was born he is paying R500 a month and that money does not not cover the monthly expenses of the child and when I call for more money he refuses to give us, he is a Lawyer by profession, what advice can you give me

  31. I am self employed, unemployed.
    My business does not have seperate accoynts. I got a job out the country and left my wife with the bank card as a trusting loving husband.
    On my return my wife cleared out the bank account, which in turn ruined the business as I couldn’t vdo anything to continue the business. I tried everything but without money couldn’t advertise, couldn’t put petrol in car to look for work and even couldn’t phone clients to scout for work. It ruined my business and in three years I have been unable to source work, couldn’t get employment and ended up homeless, jobless and basically begging for an existence. The removal of the business money ruined me. 1) how am I to pay any maintenance and back payments should a court decide so
    2) can I when we go to court, claim the children stay by me as I have no job and would be better parent as I can therefore full time care for the children, and if so would I be able to therefore claim maintenance

    1. Good day
      The maintenance court would make a fair decision. On the issue of the children living with you, the court would have to determine what is best for the kids. We strongly advise you consult with an attorney on this issue.

  32. Hi,
    I have a 26year old daughter unmarried with 3 children from different fathers. She left high school 9 years ago , out of her own, without completing matric. This year we agreed that she must acquire a skill through higher education. I paid for registration, suddenly she runs to court wanting to claim maintenance. Does she qualify to claim for maintenance?

    1. Good day
      In theory, if she is not self supporting no matter her age, she can claim. The court however would have to determine if she qualifies based on all facts.

  33. Hi. My boyfriend denied our son and after he claims its his son but he doesnt support and his always getting drunk. I am not working my mother helps me with the support. What can i do? He also doesnt work

  34. Good day, can my ex-wife claim back dated maintenance. We were divorced in 2002. From that date till 2010 I did not pay maintenance nor have contact with my child as she ran away and married another man.
    She got divorced in 2010 and came back looking for maintenance which i started paying. Our son as now turned 18 and I am going to pay him the maintenance instead of my ex-wie. She says that if I do that she will take me to maintenance court and have me pay half of everything and claim backpay for the years I did not pay.
    Can she claim back pay maintenance from all those years back?

  35. Greetings.
    Should I go to Maintenance court if my issue with my childs father is not the amount he sends but the consistency. He skips payments and makes false promises and there have accumulated debt to try and close financial gaps pertaining to my daughter. I need him to face repercussions should he fail to make payment.

  36. Hi my name is Mandy,iam a 32 year old for d past two years my children father maintained 700 he claims his not working,he resigned from his job avoiding paying maintanance should I take him back to court

  37. Good day
    I have 8year old boy, his father never supported him ever since he was born. He claims to be earning less salary. Can the mantainance court help me?

  38. Good day , i want find out, i have been paying my child school fee maintanence willingly, with no writen cotract or court order with the mother, and plus she is with helding the child from me and my parents. Will i get i trouble if i didn’t pay a month for the reason i’m unemplyed at moment don’t have the money?

  39. Hy I am a 28 yr old unemployed mother of a 6 yr old boy,his father has been gvng me 800 since he ws born,hs father is a teacher,ds 800 has never bn enough towards my son’s needs Nd now my son is no grade R still hs paying 800 fr d child,should I file fr maintenance bcos he does want to buy clothes,stationery fr my son he says I must do everything wth d 800 dat he sends everymnth,my son uses a school bus to school.

  40. Good day, my fiancé currently doesn’t work and he has 2 kids from his previous marriage. When we get married and he maybe still doesn’t have a job by that time, does that mean we would need to pay maintenance from my salary?

  41. hi. My partner took me to court after I left her…in trying to retaliate…
    she then lied to the court by saying she was not working and demanded MORE chas which I was then asked to pay her since she claimed she was not working. I was laready paying everything for my daughter but she demanded more which I could not afford to pay so I did application for reduction. we then realised shes been working from the same month the order was given. I’m now sitting with areas of R15 000 which I cant afford to pay. the court heard my application and will take off some responsibilities after the case is done.
    my question is…Can the court now not cancel my areas as the lady lied to court…which now led to me owing her the money?

    1. Good day
      Yes, it is possible for the reduction to be backdated. We, however, suggest you consult with an attorney face to face in this regard seeing that you are already at the Maintenance Court.

  42. Hi I recently found out that my husband had a child before we started dating , She went to Court a few years back to start the process to apply for maintenance. My husband also have a 2 kids with Ex wife that he pays the bare minimum as she said she will be OK looking after them financially and he did not have a job at that time. The lady that came forward with the child said she wants R1300 for the child and mu husband cannot afford that as our budget is already in a minus. Im helping with the bills 50/50 and we still don’t make it and soon my contract will end. any advice ?

    1. Good day

      Your husband would be ordered to pay what he can afford. Therefore, he needs to outline his income and expenses to the court and the court would decide.

  43. i filed for divorce in July 2019 and since then my husband never maintained our daughters. I then went to court in October 2019 to file for maintenance The court told me that maintenance cannot be back dated even though i included maintenance when i file divorce. I am given a court date for the 03/12/2019 which is very far because i am suffering with my children. My husband is self employed and his business is doing well. What can i do to get a sooner court date for him to start maintaining the children. I also want maintenance to be back dated because i am behind with their school fees.

    1. You may consider a Rule 43 Application if the Divorce is in the High Court, or a Rule 58 Application if it is in the High Court. It is a speedier process. Regarding maintenance, the court can “backdate” the order. Maybe they just dont want to deal with that issue. We advise you enlist the services of the attorney.

  44. Hello I’m currently a student and I have a 5year old baby girl ,his father stopped taking care of her a year ago and I’ve been struggling to provide, is it possible to claim for child maintenance since he is self employed ?

  45. hi
    I’m in the process of a divorce. my wife had taken me to court for maintenance of her and our daughter even when I was paying for her everything…It was unfortunate for me that the case was finalised the month she was not working and was ordered to pay everything including their rent. A month later she went back to work and now working full time. I went to court to apply for reduction as she is now working and should take off some responsibilities BUT she is refusing to do so…even refusing to move to a lower place so I don’t have to pay a lot alone. she now went back to court to complain that I haven’t paid rent for 3months, but I have been paying school fess, transport, medical,clothes AND was Garnished 2500 – BUT she still demands I pay her rent on top of all this yet she is working. the court seems to be on her side still and ordered me to pay the outstanding amount. what should I do in this case because I cannot afford to pay all this alone. My application for reduction is postponed to the following month…and Im accumulating even more outstanding as I still say I cannot afford all on my own and still pay my own place since I moved out.

  46. Hello I am 26 years old still at school doing project management, my father is the one who help us financially ,last week he phoned me telling me that he wanna resign at work coz of lots of debts, his bank statements is clean only debts of loan shark. He told me if he resign they won’t give him all his money, he will make a plan until they fire him. Now he is at home not going to work , when they call he dont pick up. Plz I need ur help in this matter coz next week m still continuing with my studies. Worst part is m from phalaborwa, studying at polokwane I must pay rent pay groceries nd other things that I will at school. Plz help me

  47. HI. I am an unemployed father . I pay for my child school fees R3600 a month sometimes i even skip payments because there is no money and I also buy seasonal clothes estimated to R4000 every season. I have no salary i get assistance from piece jobs and friends. The mother of my child wants R6000 maintenance. I cant even afford R1000 a month. I still dont know how i manage to still keep my daughter in school with the little i receive.
    She has a great job but she does not even contribute towards school fees and clothes. she only provides food for the child. With a salary of more than R25k a month.

  48. In the event that the father is perpetually unemployed (has not had a job for over 5 years and is a drug addict) and a maintenance order is sought in terms of the paternal grandparents, will the court apply the same means test for calculating maintenance as would have been applied for the father?

    For example, if the grandparents claim they have no income will their assets (a home worth several million) be taken into account? Is there case law where grandparents have been ordered to sell a property in order to pay maintenance? How common is it that maintenance orders are issued for grandparents or does the law only really exist on paper?

    Additionally, can one claim for any type of financial support (pertaining to the child) during pregnancy? e.g medical expenses, preparing for baby’s arrival (cot, pram etc etc)

  49. Hi there

    Is the mother able to with hold visitations to see my son even though i pay maintenace with no fail. We dont get along and I prefer we communicate over the phone now she insists I sit down with her or else o dont see my son. Is this allowed.

    1. Good day
      In each case, both parents must act in the child’s best interests. All facts are different and each case is. We advise that you approach the Children’s Court to assist you in obtaining a contact order. The court would decide what is best for the child and not order what the mother wants or the father wants.

  50. hi
    father of child has decide to stop paying on his own accord claiming he has been retrenched. is this legal?
    if i need to go to court for the matter are they going to need the ref’Number of the court order? is so am i able to get the ref number as the documents were stole during a house robbery last year.

    1. Good day

      The court should have a record of the Order. You should approach them.

      If the father has been retrenched, the court order still stands.

  51. Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview, your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
    Good Day, This is a lengthily scenario:
    My husband has an 8 year old son with his ex girl friend, he has never skipped a maintenance payment, in the 8 years. The mother has recently contacted us and told us that the child wants to get to know us (prior to this she wouldn’t allow us to see the child)
    So these are the points:
    1. My husband earns less than her.
    2. She moved to a different (way more expensive ) city when she found out she is pregnant.
    3. we have a 2 year old son.
    4, we have a house – well the bank does as its a bond
    5. Currently under debt review .
    6. we are married COP
    7. we drive a second hand car.

    We are however saving to go visit his child. My question has some parts.
    1. if we can prove that without a doubt we cant afford to pay more given our current finances – as in there is no money left at the end of the day , can they make us sell the house and car (car being the main tool in my husbands job)?
    2. will the added expense of having to spend about R 6000 – R10 000 (accommodation, petrol, food, etc) to visit the child for be factored into expenses (as we can only afford this once a year)
    3. Will us living in a less expensive city factor into it?

    We anticipating she wants an increase as she just moved into a rental place when prior to this she was living with her parents.

    1. The court would look at his assets, income, expenses as well as that for the mother and the child. The court would then decide what would be a fair amount.

  52. Good Day, This is a lengthily scenario:
    My husband has an 8 year old son with his ex girl friend, he has never a maintenance, in the 8 years. The mother has recently contacted us and told us that the child wants to get to know us (prior to this she wouldn’t allow us to see the child)
    So these are the points:
    1. My husband earns less than her.
    2. She moved to a different (way more expensive ) city when she found out she is pregnant.
    3. we have a 2 year old son.
    4, we have a house – well the bank does as its a bond
    5. Currently under debt review .
    6. we are married COP
    7. we drive a second hand car.

    We are however saving to go visit his child. My question has some parts.
    1. if we can prove that without a doubt we cant afford to pay more given our current finances – as in there is no money left at the end of the day , can they make us sell the house and car (car being the main tool in my husbands job)?
    2. will the added expense of having to spend about R 6000 – R10 000 (accommodation, petrol, food, etc) to visit the child for be factored into expenses (as we can only afford this once a year)
    3. Will us living in a less expensive city factor into it?

    We anticipating she wants an increase as she just moved into a rental place when prior to this she was living with her parents.

    1. Good day
      It is very rare for a court to make an order that no maintenance should be paid. We doubt it would be applicable in your husband’s case seeing that he works. The court would, however, have to be fair and consider everything. All factors would be considered. At the end of the day, the court would have to be fair.

  53. Hi am a mother of two girls aged 2 years and the other is 8 months old. my ex boyfriend does not want to help in supporting the children .he work with some other guy doing sliding gates, aluminum glass windows.

  54. Hi, I have a big problem with my baby’s father he don’t want to support his child but he keep on posting his fancy clothes, alcohol and cars my baby is 9 years this year he keep on telling me that his not working but his a gangster robbing the banks and want him to be arrested better he don’t help me with anything. Its really painful he buy fancy things but he don’t give child nothing.

  55. Hi. My baby momma took me for maitenance and I’m paying a R1000 a month as I’m only interning for 6 months still it’s a contract till end of December. What happens if I pay her R500 because I dont get a bag with when I fetch my child and I do provide and keep slips of all things I buy for my daughter each month when she is by me. I really think it’s just unfair.

    1. Good day

      If you are paying a lesser amount as per the Court Order, you are committing a criminal offense. You should immediately approach the maintenance court and apply for a reduction.

  56. My partner and I are expecting and will be delivering by the end of the month. He would like to change his surname to his biological fathers surname, he currently has his step father’s surname on his birth certificate and ID. Because the process takes so long is there anyway (or temporary document/solution) we can adopt to ensure his biological surname appears on the birth registration of our baby and that baby get the same surname. We do not want baby to have his step father’s surname.

  57. Good day
    I have a one year old son and his father and I split up a few months ago. In this time he had gotten married to a terrible woman who refuses him to have any contact with me, insists that all communication be done through her, but I cannot do that because each time I try, she humiliates me and it frustrates me to the point that I cannot even think straight.
    Another issue is that my son is not his only child. He has two other children from previous relationships as well, and only pays R400 to each child each month. I earned more than him but my expenses are more too. I spend more than R3000 a month on our son and he only gives R400. I also recently found out that he is currently unemployed, in the process of starting his own business etc. and I honestly do not care about his business, I just want him to do right by my son, as well as his other two children. What do I even need to go to court as I try contacting the maintenance courts but government lines are always difficult to get through to.

    1. Good day

      You need proof of income, expenses for both you and the child. Work on 3 months. You should also take with the birth certificate and your identity document and whatever information and documents you have of the father. There is also an application form you can download. Google maintenance application form.

  58. Hi , i have a child with another women but we arent together anymore … my salary is R4500 pm and i pay R2000 a month for maintenance and i only get to see my son once every 2nd week from 10am to 5pm on a saterday or sunday

    1. Good day
      If you require more visitation, and the mother refuses, we advise you to approach the children’s court where the mother and child lives.

  59. As part of our divorce decree, in 2010, my ex-husband signed in agreement to paying a set maintenance amount and half of my daughter’s school fees, medical aid etc.

    Since last year October he has paid a few hundred here and there, but is currently R 22 200 in arrears, which I have been carrying by myself.

    The problem is that he is self-employed, and receives his money in cash, so there is no salary reflecting in his bank account, and I am worried that if I take it to court they will

    think he is unemployed and doesn’t have to pay at all. He earns more money than I do.

    Is there anything I can do? I have begged, pleaded, threatened but to no avail. He keeps saying he has other things to pay and is in huge debt, even though I tell him his
    child support should be paid FIRST. We have been struggling terribly.

    There must be a way that I can pursue this? Any advice would be most appreciated!

    1. Good day

      We strongly suggest you approach the maintenance court and advise them on the situation. The court has maintenance officers and investigators who are there to assist you.

  60. Request regarding a friend

    They Have A 6 month old baby they are no longer together.

    she tells him he has no right towards the child and want R5000 for a 6 month old baby
    he does buy nappies,milk clothing etc for the child but when he takes it she either tells him the child had changed his nappies or milk and claims the clothing wont fit , so he asked what the child uses milk etc and every time for the last month the child has changed of product as he is trying to help towards buying items for the child. she has used glycerine on the dummy when the child starts crying so he can stop screaming( Glycerine is a laxative which makes your tummy work)
    the child has had problems with his tummy for 2 months now cramping’s and diarrhea..what legal action can he start taking to help this problem?

  61. Hi I am a paying father , when myself and my ex-wife parted ways she went to the court and applied for a divorce in the divorce decree she also attached a child maintenance order for R2000.00 PM for the child . As a foolish man i signed the divorce degree not looking at the attached maintenance order signed and settled the divorce , a few days later reading to the paper work i contacted the mother and told her that i could not afford the amount , as i at the time only received a salary of R 9500.00 PM , and i had other debts to consider , long story short because there was no signed documents to us agreeing , i eventually ended up paying her 1500.00 pm , i then got remarried had a change of Jobs and also added a new baby ,, when she found out about the new baby , she took me back to court and claim the outstanding amount for the last 4 YEARS that i did not pay in full , so now i have to pay the oustanding amount for the last 4 years with the original amount on the divorce decree that amounts up 2500.00 pm ,,,this has ruined me for the last 6 months i have been paying i cannot get to my other commitments and have been handed over by few of my creditors ,,,how can i calculate what i should be paying and how do i apply for a reduced rate on the initial order ?

    1. Good day
      You would need to make an application to the maintenance court for a substitution of the maintenance order based on what you can afford. The clerks at the court should be able to advise you what you must pay. Otherwise, it is best to consult a lawyer face to face, and outline your income and expenses, etc and work out an amount.

  62. I am currently unemployed but I’m just not sitting Iam looking for something to do. My ex girlfriend is threatening to take me to maintenance court for our 3 year old daughter. I try to give her money and buy stuff for our child when I can. But she fails to understand my situation. She would even make bad comments and refuse me access to my child. Sometimes even when she feels like she wants to be alone she will just call me out of the blue that I must come the next day to fetch the child. Without even asking me if I’m available or not because sometimes I try do odd jobs.

    1. Any mother has a right to approach the maintenance court. The court, however, will only make an order if there is a justification for it. In your case, if you truly cannot afford, then they will have to let you try to find work and deal with the matter again. The mother also has the option of claiming against your parents if there are merits for it.

  63. Hi, I have 2 children, I took the father to the court about 4 years back and he paid only 3 instalments. he told me he lost his job and cannot afford to take care fo the boys and I let it go but he found a job a while back and has been lying about it for years. I have a decent job and live just okay to pay bills but not save up. I would like compensation for all those years he has lied to me and I had to suffer taking care of the children alone. He has changed jobs and would not give me the new work address, Do I open a new case or use the old one so they can just trace his new job? What if he lies and says he cannot afford yet he is working full time and puts non-exisiting expenses , how does that work?

    1. Good day
      You need to approach the maintenance court in the area where you live or work and lay a complaint. They would not just lightly accept if he says he does not work. Visit them ASAP.

  64. My daughter is 17. Our settlement agreement is set om a 10% yearly increase. We got divorced im 2010 lately he is paying far less than what he is suppose ro because he has taken out a medical aid wich he is paimg R13000 PM. Can he just reduce this maintenamce because of that

  65. Am a married wife and my husband cheat then a baby was born we hve 2kids in our marriage and am nt working my husband is. Th lady with the baby want to claim maintanence but already my husband is giving her 1000 some monrhs 800 some 700 depending on how much he is affording monthly. So now the want my husband to put the child to same school where my kids are going i dnt feel it right. Does she have the right that the kids must be put to same schools

    1. She can decide which school the child must go to. However, what your husband must pay would be dependent on his means. So if all he can afford is R 1000 – 00, then she must pay the rest. If she goes to the maintenance court, the court would decide if what he is paying is fair. However, he must treat all his children fairly, and not favor one over the other.

  66. I am a divorced mother of 2 children, my children is living with there dad. However my settlement agreement states i must pay R3000.00 per month, but i have only paid R2000.00 per month as that was all i could afford at the time. I have spoken to my ex on sms and he never agreed or even came back to me to complain. A month ago he said as per agreement i must pay R3000.00 other wise he will go to maintenance court. However i have been to them to request for decrease. I am currently unemployed and requested to pay R1500 as my children still needs something to live on. I also pay school fees, dr bills and purchase them clothes ect. The question i have is can i get into trouble for paying what i can and will i still be held liable for the balance as per agreement?

    1. Good day
      You did the proper thing of going to the court to ask for a reduction. You should ask the court that the reduction be backdated since the date you paid R 2000 – 00.

  67. Hi I need help the father of my child stope paying maintenance since 2011 he has not paid anything or support my child he does not want to the lat time he paid maintenance was February 2011 should he pay for all these years my son is 13 years that time he was only 5 plz help

    1. Good day
      You would have to approach the maintenance Court in your area as soon as possible. You should make an application for a maintenance order and in it also include the past maintenance.

  68. Hi all, I need some advice, bit of a complicated one, the Sheriff of the court delivered the reduction of maintenance document to me, I have now discovered that the father of my child resigned. Please advise on a way forward, and info on future maintenance as he has a pension fund. He doesn’t have another job currently and apparently going to work with he’s dad in December.

  69. Good day, my ex husband lost his job to his own negligence, it’s been 7 months still not employed. he is not paying maintenance now, i did go to maintenance court, nothing has come from it? i replied to emails no reply from maintenance office? My ex husband refuses to talk to me to pay a reduced maintenance or make any arrangements with me at all.What must I do?

    1. Good day.

      You may consider complaining to somebody higher than the maintenance officer. The maintenance Court has a legal obligation to assist you.

  70. Good day
    I’m a 20 year old student with a 2years old boy….the father of my child doesn’t want to support the child and he is self employed I was wondering what I could do since the social grant is not enough for the baby

  71. Hi there, my ex husband must pay me lifelong maintenance and medical aid. He resigned from his previous employer and the garnishee order for maintenance fell away and became overdue..also lost medical aid which was deducted as I was on his medical AId..can I claim the amount for medical aid as well as a total which I lost for the last three years? I’m medically unfit and cannot lower to a smaller premium anyway? Thanks

    1. Good day
      It is best you visit the maintenance officer and speak to him or her before lodging the complaint. Depending on the facts, you ex should still pay the maintenance.

  72. Good day,I fell pregnant in 2015 and I got a baby boy,my ex didn’t want anything to do with the pregnancy in the beginning,as time went by he came back and wanted to know his child,but the problem is that he is very troublesome when it comes to supporting the child,last year he took me to court because he wanted access of the child and the court granted him access provided that he supports the child.he only payed maintenance for a few months then stopped and then he lost his job a few months.he is now not honoring the court order,he doesn’t come see his child anymore and even when I ask his help with the kid he does not step up,please help,what can I do…

  73. I have 3 children and my ex husband only pay me R300 maintenance per child per month. My childrens monthly expences are about R7000-R8000 per month. I have to work 2 jobs and sell cleaning products for a extra income and he just want to see them whenever he wants to and come and go as he pleases. If I ask him to help to pay a bit more of there expences he just tell me that he dont have more money but he can afford to buy a new car and travel at least once a month to go see his mother that stays 500km from out town. FUrther more he will tell me that his finances dont have nothing to do with me. THis makes me frustrated because I work so hard to get them where they need to be in live ( our oldest son have a learning disability and he is doing homeschool so we work at nigh up to 23:00 sometimes due to the fact that I can not afford a private school for him) and the father just dont care. He even forgot to pick up our daughter at school last week after he promised her he will pick her up. I really dont know what to do anymore

  74. Good day.

    I am currently engaged to be married to a guy that has a daughter with another women. They went to court and he has a duty to pay maintenance. However, he no longer works and has informed the court of this. I want to know if we do decide to get married in community of property, will I then become liable for his child’s maintenance as I am the only one working at the moment.

  75. Hi my brother has 2 kids with his ex and pays R3000 for medical aid for them, sends her about R1500 every month and she would call and ask for more money in the middle of the month and he tries his best to do everything she asks but still she wants more and she is now treathening to take him to court. Bear in in mind that she is still living with her parents and works for the government. Can she still take him to court???

    1. Hi
      She has full right to go to court. The court would however decide whether what he pays is reasonable. If it is, then they wont order an increase.

  76. if your child’s mother take you to court but you dont have a job but she got married and has a stable job is there anything the father can do for he dont have money?
    or if he can pay the money before the court date.?what will happens
    does he have options or any rights?
    because when he was working he never skiped child support
    please help what to do to avoid court

  77. Hi I am a 47 year old married man with a 7 month year old child with another woman. How much must a pay child support.

    1. Good day

      It depends on the needs of the child, your income, the mother’s income and both your expenses. It may be best to ask the mother those questions and work something out.

  78. Good day
    The question that I have is that ,
    Is it against the law if I pay maintenance and then few days after paying my child and his mother will go to our place and ask for food,
    I would like to know what is the use of paying maintenance if I still have to feed them?

    1. Good day
      It seems that the amount paid is not adequate and therefore they are asking for food. It may be best that the issue be resolved at the maintenance court. The court can then decide if what you are paying is a reasonable amount. The mother would then also have to outline her income and expenses.

  79. What if I was summoned to cape town to court for maintenance increase and I’m not working and can’t afford to get to cape town. What can I do cause If I’m not there I will be arrested? Please help

    1. Good day

      You need to contact the maintenance court ASAP and advise them of your situation. They would advise you how they deal with it. They may pay you witnesses transport fees.

  80. Hi there,

    I have a 5 year old son. The father abounded his son while I was still pregnant. He has a court order against him from about 4 years ago he was ordered to pay R2000 maintenance a month. He only pays when he see’s fit. He since disappeared to Overseas. I have contacted his mother and through their lawyer they refuse to disclose any of their information although they have all of mine and my child’s expenses, details etc.

    What is the next step which I can take?

  81. Good day

    I have a 2 year old daughter. The father is paying R 2000 maintenance, She is on my medical aid and basically fully in my care, i also have as 10 year old son which he is not the father of, my sons father passed away, so i am responsible for both my children. My mom takes care of both my children when i work. I earn around R 13000 of which i must pay rent accounts schoolfees buy food, electricity bill clothes, my car payment and so on.I was also left with a lot of debt after we broke up, We were never married, He bumped my car, and i got it fixed, he did not pay a cent, I made a loan for the house and accounts which is on my name because he could not get a loan at the time, and he said he will help pay it monthly, i used my credit card on a monthly basis to just get us by . So i have all the debt which was used for all of us at the time. He gets paid around R8500 and that was in 2017. What can i do

    1. Good day
      He has a legal obligation to pay child support. We strongly advise that you take him to the Maintenance Court in the area where you reside or work.

  82. Good day

    My son moved to his father ,who has been paying maintenance since he was born and has never missed a payment. He pays the school fees,medical aid , busy his clothing ,stationary and he even gave me money while he was staying with me.

    he now says i have to start supporting my child as it is my responsibility to do so .

    I am unemployed , can he take me up f9r maintenance?

    1. Good day
      He would have to take you to the maintenance court. You would have to explain why you cannot find a job and support you, child. The court may ask you to take job forms to show that you applied for work.

  83. Hi good day I would like to find out about my child’s father that is not maintaining his son a 13 year what he does years back he would maintain my son now&then then he stops then the same over over again until I decided to stop him from seeing my son chase he make promises and he do not fulfill them until I find out he has his own company and he received some sort of tenders he owns a company called XXX company he supplying plastic tumblers some sort early last year he came wanting to maintain the child he only did that for few months he promised a R 1000 down the line he was quiet by August he put R888,can u pls help out what can I do I need yo assistant up to now he is not maintaining the child

  84. Hi There, we are not really sure how to go about our current situation, so I was hoping you would be able to provide us with some advice.

    My partner has 3 children, and has been divorced since 2010, he has always contributed toward the children, and has always taken their wellbeing into account, in fact for 4 of the 8 years he has been divorced we had the children full time and covered all of the costs, despite the mother working her excuse was always she can’t afford to contribute.

    There is a long history, far too much to get into now, however the gist of it is that the mother basically feels that the father has the sole responsibility to provide financially, she has tried everything over the years to either get him to pay more money, or not contribute, so that she doesn’t have to work.

    She has resigned from numerous jobs over the years and up until recently was unemployed (by choice) for over a year and a half.

    My partner is at his wits end, because his oldest daughter has been acting out (due to parental alienation) for more than 2 years now, and over this time has become increasingly belligerent, and maintains she doesn’t want to stay at ours (as of this year we finally went back to a week and week about).

    We have raised this with the mother, we tried to arrange counselling for the daughter, but the mother was opposed to it and as a result things have remained tenuous to say the least, which is negatively impacting the other 2 younger siblings, so we finally drew a line and told the mother she needs to stay with her because it is in all the children’s best interest.

    However now the mother is trying to demand ( over and above an exorbitant maintenance amount already paid) an additional R2 000 for the 2 extra weeks she has the child for food, which is the only way she will agree to have her daughter full time ( we would still see her every second weekend).

    We are already under major financial strain because we have our own business and the economic climate is not great in our industry currently, so my partner can’t afford to pay anymore than he is already paying.

    Also she had an initial divorce settlement of R 500 000 which she blew (literally and figuratively) in the space of 1 year, and during that time didn’t clothe the children, or contribute toward medical, and school costs.

    So my questions are:

    1. Can she demand more money when she doesn’t contribute and has had little to no contribution over the past 8 years, despite us having the kids full time for half of that time?

    2. Can my partner approach maintenance court to revise the maintenance order considering he is paying everything?

    3. Does he have any recourse for retrospective monies for the 4 years we had the children full time?

    Your assistance would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you in advance.

    1. Good day
      Regarding question 1, she is welcome to demand, however, your husband should pay what he can afford and what is reasonable. There is an obligation for her to maintain the kids according to her means. If she truly cannot afford, then that is unfortunate. Then, in that case, your husband has to contribute if he can afford it.
      Regards questions 2, we advise that he approach the maintenance court;
      And for 3, it all depends on whether the mother could have afforded to support, and she did not do so.

      On the whole, it may be best your husband approach the maintenance court on all the issues soonest.

  85. Good day, would you be able to assist. Father pays a monthly amount of R6000 for 2 children towards the mother (father has a nett income of R20 000 pm), the court order stipulates that the father’s monthly payments must go towards basic needs for the children AND school fees. The mother does not pay the school fees on a monthly basis and is in arrears at 3 differenct schools (due to constant moving from town to town). She claims that she cannot pay the school fees every month and must use the money to settle other expenses (take note that she is in debited for over R350 000) however, she earns a monthly salary – unknown to the father. The mother refuses to disclose to the father what the maintenence money are used for during the months that she does not pay the school fees, yet demands that the father must pay more money.
    1) Can the mother be aprehended if for instance she claims that her husband did not receive an income for a specific month and she had to, pay the full rental amount due or electricity bill, but had a shortfall on her income therefore used the father’s maintenance pay to compensate?
    2) When presenting documentation to the court, must the full household income and expenses be presented? Eg: Father, 2nd wife, 7 year old son – father monthly income & expenses, 2nd wife monthly income & expenses, son expenses or does the court only take into consideration the income and expenses of the father and the mother (complainant)?
    3) Is a quote or invoice sufficient enough proof to show that a mother paid for a childs expense? Eg, school uniforms? Can the court order that she provides physical evidence such as a bank statement that indicates the payment did go through her personal bank account if the father might speculate that the payments are made by another party and not the mother?
    4) If stationery and school uniforms are only purchased once a year, how is this calculated in the maintenance? Can the mother put this up as an expense for every month?

    I would also like to know, if the father is not married to the mother of his child, but they reside under the same roof – is there a law that states that the father does not have to make any financial contributions to the child if they live under the same roof and the father only pays the rent?

    Thank you

    1. Good day
      It may be best that you discuss those questions with the maintenance court or with an attorney face to face.
      Regarding an invoice, if a party disputes it, then the parent presenting it, must obviously prove that they paid for it.
      If items are purchased annually, then it must be divided into 12.

  86. Hi ,I would like to know if I can claim for the past 3 years of child support from my baby’s father . I have been taking care of my daughter alone without his help . I have an account in areas because I would take clothes on credit since he was not helping.

  87. Dear Sir, I have been divorced for 11 years and I have been paying the maintenance, school fees, uniforms, books and any extra lessons my children require. This was agreed upon in the divorce settlement. 5 Years ago I was deemed permanently disabled, I earn 75% of my last salaried job and receive a 10% yearly increase. After paying all the bills I am left with 27% of my salary, I have my own debt, Life insurances to pay, credit card debt, medical expenses I had accrued over the years of medical help that my Medical Aid did not cover.
    My second wife kindly helps me to pay for some of these bills.
    My second wife and I have moved to London so that my wife can get a job to cover our personal living expenses on one salary and our South African expenses.
    Would you please advise the best possible route and what to do as I am living in London and do not have the money for a flight, a long distant flight damages my back as I battle to sit for long periods of time and I can’t walk either, I am permanently in a wheelchair.
    I look forward to your response.
    Many Thanks

    1. Good day
      You need to comply with the Court Order. If you truly cannot as you say you can’t, you need to have the Order changed. We advise that you make use of an attorney in South African to assist you with the process.

  88. Good day

    Can a person claim child support from a father that was never there and only found him when he was in his late 20’s.

    Thank you

  89. Good day , I have three children their father is unemployed but he received money from road accidents funds in 2017 , he get paid every month and promised that he will help support the children but he never did that , he is an alcoholic and a abuser so my question is how can I get the help so that he can maintain his children?

  90. Good day, I don’t know if this would be a waste of my time but….

    My child’s father has never seen his daughter nor contributed a cent to assist. I have never taken him to maintanence court and he has always claimed he has never worked. My daughter is turning 5 this year and going to primary next year, more expenses for me. I spoke to him on the 7th January 2019 telling him I cannot manage anymore I need help he said he is unemployed but will see month end.

    I called him today and he said he got laid off at work, so he was working and still did not assist. So my question is can I claim for the years he did nothing and would I get anything from him as he claims he is not working? I work but I think it’s time he contributes. I earn R13200 and after expenses get left with just R4000 or even less

    1. Good day
      You can claim from birth, however, the court would decide what is a fair amount.
      If he cannot afford to pay maintenance due to not working, the law looks at his assets.
      Lastly, you can claim maintenance from his parents as well.

  91. Hi, I know this is an old thread but it’s very relevant to me at the moment. My ex husband got married in community of property and then two months later resigned from his job. He had now stopped paying maintenance. I went to the court and the lady got ahold of him and he said he’s not paying because he is not working. She asked him why he had not informed the court and he sai he had December and gave them proof, but nobody had made me aware of anything. He has a pension fund can I ask that the maintenance he paid from there. I am a sales consultant I earn R4200 and commission only when I make target which I sometimes despite my best efforts do not. He deliberately resigned so that he could draw his pension and not have to pay his child support. I think that he may have already drawn his pension, what do I do in this case. My one child is special needs the other is ADHD, he has also cancelled their medical aid. I still have mouths to feed, school fees to pay and chronic meds to buy as well as to shelter and cloth them. I do not have enough money to do it all myself. Please assist me.

    1. Good day
      We advise that you approach the maintenance court ASAP to attach money from his pension from. If he withdrew the funds, they can attach it from his bank account.

  92. Good Day
    i have been a paying parent from the time my daughter who is now 7-years of age was born. i have recently approached the court for maintenance as i feel that the contribution the father is making is not enough. in December of this year, i paid for the below;
    stationery – R1018.19
    uniform – R1659.52
    lunch – R699.21
    transport fees – R400.00 (Pro-rata) – 1 week (i was on leave)
    school fees – R1000.00
    medical aid – R1816.00
    All the above totaling an amount of R6592.92, and all this includes the fathers contribution of R1500.00

    i have asked that he share the monthly expenses and we go 50/50 he refuses. the total monthly expenses would be as follows;
    School fees – R800.00 pm
    Transport – R800.00 pm
    Lunch – R800.00 pm
    Medical aid – R1816.00
    The above is an amount of R4216.00, these do not include any clothes or extras for the weekend.
    He is currently earning a nett salary of R16000.00 and i’m earning a nett of R8200.00
    he has also recently moved out of home and our daughter is his only child.

    please advise.

  93. Good day i have a 1 year and 4 month baby girl and the father of the baby decided to stop supporting the baby September 2018 because his saying that he feel like his an ATM father so i should change the surname of my daughter to his so that he can support the baby. Now his saying he want to buy food and cloths insist of giving me money. Please advice

  94. good day i would like your advice,i have a one year old boy and he leaves with his mother not far from where i live in 2018 she took me to court whereby i was in arears with with my maintance but by the end december in 2018 i paid up the whole amount of R4000, 00 and i have ask her for this year i wont be able to give the full thousand that i must on monthly basis because am getting paid mid month on the 15th , annd also made provision to pay half amount of 500 and give the other half at the end of the month because i am having an extra room to hire for to my tenant who will be residing by the property which am currently the executor, then will give the other half then at the end of the month when my tenants pays their and she demands the whole amount.Due this i also other kids to support in the middle of the month and am really earning so little


    1. Good day
      If you cannot afford the current amount, or the mother does not agree with your offer, you need to approach the maintenance court ASAP for a change in the order.

  95. Hi if the mother did work in another place and the child lives for almost 3years with the father is she obligated also to pay child support and she also did pay all pay for the child that she never sends nor did she send money for those three years can we also go to court

  96. Good day. I just wanted to ask how does the magistrate work in the case where the respondent has brought his attorney to the maintanance court, and the complainant cannot afford one.

    1. Good day. If you do not have a legal representation, the maintenance officer should assist you with your case. Either way, the maintenance of magistrate should ensure that there is fairness in your case

  97. Good day. My wife and I got separated in May 2012 and my son the 2 years old stayed with me. Then she use to pay half his school fees only. She lost her job in February 2015 so I told her that I will take care of all the fees till she has a new job. Since then she has had two different jobs but never paid a cent again. Recently she left her work and moved to Rwanda with her new boyfriend. Claiming that she is now unemployed and a student. Can I still claim maintenance and the money that she should have paid when she got a job again?

    1. Good day. Yes, it is possible to claim maintenance from when your wife stopped paying. We advise that you approach of the maintenance court to confirm that it applies to your case.

  98. Please advise!! The mother of my child refuses to show me school statements and invoice and to give me the name of the school where my daughter attend. I have asked her so many times and she does not want to give me the details even though i give her money every month for school fees. she threatens to take me to court if I do not pay. please advise which route must I take to get her to give me all the details. I would like to pay the school directly and give her money for food and other stuff separately. I pay for her medical aid as well. please advice

    1. Good day. You may want to employ a private investigator. The other option is to approach the court for assistance in getting the information from the mother. We advise that you see an attorney as well who may be able to send the mother a letter of demand for the information before approaching the Court.

  99. Hi there.
    Me and my babys father recently split. Ive been unemployed since he was born and am a part time student,so i have no income. He provided for my son,throughout the year but since the split we came to an agreement that he would pay money monthly so that i wouldnt have to ask him for money,but when i told him my son needs some things,he ignored me,after phoning and sending msgs for 2 days he sends me only a R200. He ignores my msgs when i say my son needs things like nappies and toiletries.
    I also told him that he can see our son anytime he wants to and can fetch him for the day,but no sleeping over because my son is only 15months now,so we agreed and then when he asked to get my son twice for the day,he didnt pitch,he also didnt send a msg saying his not going to come. What am i supposed to do?

  100. I got pregnant by a married man last year, he is unemployed . His wife does work..he hasn’t contributed anything towards the baby since he was born. What options to I have ?

  101. My daughter father is self employed as a carpentry,welding and covering sofa and does not support her what can I do

  102. Good me and my ex have 2 children he paying maintaince but got fired can i claim money from his pension that is going 2 be paid out 2 him seeing that his not going 2 work and whe going 2 court next week 4 increace

  103. since i’ve a baby he decided to leave change his number nd location as well so how possible it to find him while i don’t knw where he stay right now.

  104. Good day

    I would like to make an enquiry.

    My husband was unemployed for 2-3years and then was employed and retrenched, however he still made maintenance payments where he could. Now the mother of the child is claiming arrears from 2010 to date, the court has granted an order for the arrears amount for the period, but the file has no proof or bank statements from her bank to prove that no payments were made from 2010 to date. The arrears amount was set at R77000 without this information and he was told if he doesn’t agree immediately to pay R1500 towards maintenance and arrears he will be locked up.
    All proof he provided that he was unemployed and retrenched are no longer on file, all previous proof of payments into her bank account no longer on file. He has to be back in court on 29-11-2018 to prof that payments of R1500 was made for SEPT & OCT but this matter was never properly investigated. Please advise on what we need to do. He applied for a reduction in maintenance as well but when they appeared on the date for the matter, no documents were in the file any longer and he was told to reapply for a reduction. The reduction was applied for last year September and after waiting a year to appear this was the response. Please help with assistance

    1. Good day
      It seems that the maintenance court is failing you. It further seems that the maintenance court believes that they are making the correct decision. That may or may not be so. We cannot speculate on that with the limited information. However, what seems clear is that going forward, your husband needs to keep copies of all documents.

  105. gud day how can i apply for maintenance while i don’t hv idea where does my baby daddy hide him self..nid help.

  106. The father of my child is unemployed but he do partime jobs buh he does not do anything for baby

  107. my ex partner is trying to force mih to support her child who is not mine at court what shoud i do

  108. good day
    can you please tell me what procedures does my daughter needs to follow in the matter that her father simple is defaulting on his maintenance payment. maintenance order granted end of july. father made first payment into her bank account in august. but the september payment still not paid in. me as the mother have tried on her behalf phoning, sms’ whatsapping, emailing, using all forms of communication, giving him grace to pay but he still ignores and does not clearly not care about the law and chooses to be stubborn. his next payment is due 22 october, which would mean double arrears if he does not pay his september payment now.

    he lives in cape town and we in bloemfontein, free state
    any feedback would help. thank you,

    1. Good day
      She needs to lay a complaint of non-ompliance with the maintenance order at the Maintenance Court. She may follow the criminal route or the civil route. The Court would advise her.

  109. good day

    can you please advise I am paying maintenance medical aid school fees, my son did not passed 2 years in high school now is in private schooling at home and I had to pay, he is turning 20 and stays with my ex wife sister that are well off, can I stop paying school fees and maintenance as he is turning 20 already. thanks

  110. My husband is earning R11000 we are on the verge of divorcing because he has remarried. What can I claim for maintenance for 2 kids under 18, as my daughter has a terminal illness and I cannot go work. My husband says he can only give me R3000 per month. What are my rights and what can I claim?

    1. Parents must support their children according to their means. One must look at the income of both parents and the needs of the children. It may be best that you take this matter to the maintenance court to do a proper assessment of the situation. Of course, your children have a right to adequate maintenance, considering the income of the parents.

  111. I filed maintenace few months ago and the father of my child is not paying accordingly we agreed on R600 but he always has excuses when he has to pay his a cleaner at a local tarven earning R1200 he uses money on beer n his car only what should i do?

  112. Hi, I am mother of a two year old child, I am currently unemployed.. Recently matriculated, the problem I have is my baby daddy is refusing to pay the child support, He’s claiming that he is facing financial problem yet he drives fancy cars, living in suburban areas, and he also has shares to some company . can I be able to sue him for maintenance? Because it been 9 months now not paying for his child support

  113. hi, i just want to know the father of my child is not working but staying with the wealthy wife his clean, have food everyday but his daughter nothing. how can i claim maintenance?
    and my concerned about witbank court we dont get fair treatment for our kids they always treat like trash we must go and look for the job so we can mantain our kids but man are kings if your file is got the all info you are lucky because sometimes our files are lost or inside your file some papers are missing

    please can some1 help witbank mothers?

    1. Good day.
      Yes, you can claim. The amount depends on the needs of the child and your income. The is not a fixed amount for a father that earns R 3000 – 00.

  114. Good day

    What happens if you received a summons and the court is in another province(mother moved to another province without a parenting plan) and you are not able to attend because of financial reasons/unemployment?

    1. Good day
      If you were subpoenaed to appear at a maintenance inquiry, you have to attend. The court should reimburse you for your traveling costs. It is best that you contact the court and discuss your situation with them. You do not want to not attend and be arrested after.

  115. Good day

    My ex is self employed he admitted it to the court after I had to get his car execution for arrers of 8 years… but now after that he is claiming unemployment now he is in arrears again and I have to prove he is self employed still. How do i prove this as he is ducking from paying and does all his stuff under the table… please give me advise on how do I prove he is still self employed…

    1. Good day
      You may have to hire a private investigator. It could be expensive. Otherwise, see what the Maintenance Court has to say. Maybe they can subpoena his bank statements etc.

  116. Hi, my kids dad signed a parenting plan en settlement where he is supposed to pay child support but its been 2 months now that he didn’t pay. He don’t pick them up on the weekends he should and he doesn’t call them. Will I be able to get sole custody of them and how do I go about him not paying child support?

    1. Good day
      For sole custody, you need to prove it is in the child’s best interests. It is for the court to decide. Regarding maintenance, you need to approach the maintenance court and lay a complaint.

  117. Hi there

    My daughter’s father is self-employed as a dentist and often receives cash payments from patients which he deposits into his account or uses as he pleases, mostly he receives payments from medical aids. He does not pay a set amount of child maintenance, he sends whatever he feels like & often claims he has no money when the child needs more. He does not own property but rents and recently bought a car which I assume he bought via a bank. He has several cell phone contracts and splurges on luxury clothing brands and expensive alcohol when out with friends. We are no longer together and I have received threats from his family and him that if I go to court for child maintenance, I will receive less than the baby needs & that they know where I live. I am an unemployed student living with my mother and I’m at my wits end. I did approach child maintenance court a few weeks ago but the clerk I met was very unhelpful and gave me forms I don’t understand and didn’t explain anything to me. What options do I have in this situation and what can I do to ensure that my child’s father is investigated thoroughly?

    1. Good day
      You need to go through the maintenance court. Seeing that they were not very helpful, we advise that you make use of a lawyer for assistance. After consulting with you, they may think up of other ways of assisting you.

  118. Hi, ive been paying maintenance towards my two kids. R 6000 per month. I know for a fact that we never spent 3000 per child when we lived together. on top of this I pay their school fees upfront for the year.
    currently I am engaged again, finances changed.. is it possible to apply to pay less.

  119. Good day , I was declared permanently unfit for duty at work. And Medicaly bord. My ex has taken me to maintenance court and wants R3600 for a child of 2 years. Any advice since I am also unable to see the child. Currently awaiting my pension payout at work ,there after I’ll have no other source of income or be able to work

    1. Good day
      Go with all proof of income and expenses. Make sure you have everything. Ask questions on the child’s expenses. The court would then have to Order a fair amount.

  120. Hi I have two children from the same father whose planning to get married soon so I just want to know if I should apply for maintenance against him as I’m the one who’s talking responsibility for my children yet his a taxi owner who owners three cars and another thing he decided to end things with me as he doesnt want to reveal the truth about my 1 year old child to his former wife and n he told the outsider that this child is not his

  121. I have a 6 month old baby. The father before she was born and said he doesn’t want anything to do with her. Last I heard he doesn’t have a job. I get ssi because I have epilepsy and child grant. It’s R2800 a month and with that I have to support her and myself.. basically my question is must the father still pay even if he doesn’t want anything to do with her?

  122. Good day. I have a 9 months old son with a married man, the guy owns businesses and drives in luxurious cars, he pays R1000 sometimes R500 and claims that he doesn’t have money but his other kids go to expensive schools. And threatens me that if I go to court, he’ll pay R300 for the child sincewell he doesn’t have a salary advise and his private bank acc has less that R5000 in it. Thank you!

  123. My sons father and I are not married. He has 2 kids from previous relationships. He has not seen our son for the past 5 months and has not paid a cent for his upkeep. He also defaults in paying for their upkeep.My son is 1 year 5 months and even though we were together when he was born I still paid for everything myself. e has previously threatened he will leave work if ever I claim money from him. He lives with his mother and sister – both work and both have not acknowledged our son. He has no assets in his name just debt but he has a full time job. What are my rights to claim maintenance as can he use the fact that he does see our son to not pay? Many thanks

  124. Good day

    My girlfriend ex husband is unemployed for couple of months , has no uif and just sold his car – R2000 was given to my girlfriend. – he is in behind in school fees , maintenance basically everything what the divorce agreement was between the 2 of them . Gf and 2 kids are on my med aid – can I claim money back from him ?

    Would like know what is the procedure or advice you can give me . Or what can my gf do Regarding this matter please. It’s quite urgent.

    1. Good day
      She can report him to the maintenance court for non-compliance with the Divorce Order. She may also consider claiming maintenance against his parents if he cannot afford.

  125. Hi I’ve been supporting my child with amounts of 1000 to 1300 sometimes,buying clothes even before he was born till today since the mother has never worked in her life during the month of May I’ve send her money as i always do and she said she went home to her mother’s side and she didn’t have money to come coz i told we must go and buy clothes for winter and she asked me for transport money so she can come,and she never did come until this day and she’s always now demanding money for the child even though she’s not here and she told me she’s taking me court even though now the child is with my parents and on the other hand she’s receiving money for social grant also and now her sister’s were refusing my parents to see the child until i went home and took him coz I’m working away from home i don’t want full custody of the child just what will be best for the child can i approach the court myself coz now it’s 3 months since she left the child but month end she keeps on demanding money and even got the nerve to give his boyfriend the phone when i call

  126. I’ve supported the child for 5 yrs until this day and I never applied for maintenance however when the child was 1 yrs and 2 months old… I applied, it took them 1 & 1/2 years to come to an agreement of R200.00 per month. Seeing that this case dragged… I would like to know if I can get the money owed since the birth of the child?

  127. Hi there
    My exhusband is currently 65000 in arrears with his maintenance. He claims he cant afford what the court instructed in 2015 (as part of our divorce decree which he didnt contest at the time) and has been paying a quarter of that for the past year (before that he didnt pay at all an says he was unemployed). If he gets a reduction at court, will he still be liable for the arrears as per the previous court order?

    1. Good

      It is possible for him to convince the Court that the reduced order should operate retrospectively. Basically, from the date, he could not afford.

  128. Hi
    My son is only one month old and his father kept saying he will buy him clothes and nappies ever since I was pregnant but he never did.
    I am unemployed and his working.
    I want to take him to court so I wanted to know if is still early or i must wait for my son to be a year older

  129. Good Day

    We have a rule 58 in place but father when he had a jod did not pay now he has no job according to the place he worked and is still not paying. We are in court on Friday and I want to know what can happen because he is going to say he has no job and can only pay R1500 for both children and that is not enough to look after 1?

    1. Good day
      He must provide he cannot find a job even though he is trying very hard. Maybe consider claiming from his parents if he cannot afford. Speak to the court about that.

      1. Thanks for that I will ask the court. But can the court reduce the amount they have ordered him to pay? He still have a lot out standing since the oder was made?

        1. You are welcome. The court has the power to reduce the amount. The same way it can increase it. We do not want to guess the outcome would be.

          1. Will the court reduce the amount even if I really need the money to help me because Iam paying everything now with help from my mother and the money that he gives if he does is not even enough to cover one child school fees. Iam just scared that the court will tell him not yo pay because he doesn’t have a job is this possible?

          2. We are just presuming and being hypothetical. Things can turn out totally differently in court. However, if someone cannot afford a certain amount, the court cannot order him to pay it. It’s setting him up for a criminal prosecution and contempt of court. Maybe speak to the maintenance court beforehand and see what they have to say.

  130. Good day i have a quetion im paying the maintenance for my child and his mother is now working and he still demanding money for clothes so can we pay the money 50/50 or her mother can buy the clothes for winter and summer and my self i will support the child every month

    1. Good day
      If you cannot come to an agreement, pay what you believe is reasonable and fair. However, the mother can still take you to the maintenance court and the court may order you to pay more.

  131. Thank you for this page! I need help with a question. Shouldn’t arrears be proven? My husband was unemployed for a month, immediately sent application for variation. Got employed a month later, but at half the previous salary. Currently a postponed formal enquiry. Husband cannot afford the original court ordered amount based on his previous salary, but the mother wants to now claim arrears for the shortfall. Will it be granted if I is proven during the formal enquiry that he did not have the means, and should the amendment not be backdated to when the change of income took place? We cannot afford legal representation, but do not qualify for Legal Aid either and we are scared he is walked over and not being treated fairly and then ordered to pay arrears for the period he did not have the means. We feel it is because of the system taking so long. Please help? :(

    1. Good day

      You are correct, if he could not afford to pay at the time, the Order should basically be backdated. The law allows for it.

  132. Hi I would like to know from what age of a child can a mother apply for maintenance .l have 3 months baby the Father was employed for more than 10 years,he lost his job this year 20 may 2018 and since the child is born he never supported him.

    1. If the father really cannot afford, you can approach his parents. We would however still advise you to make the application against the father and see what comes out of it. Maybe he has assets, pension etc. If then he cannot afford, ask the court to proceed against his parents.

  133. Leave your message hello my son is 2 years his father gave him 300r what can i do

    1. We advise you approach the maintenance court for a maintenance order. The court would decide what the father can afford and pay.

  134. I recently moved in with my fiance and her 2 daughters. Her settlement agreement states that written authorisation must be obtained by her from her ex for somebody to move in. We haven’t done that. Not sure how he managed such a clause but it is there. The house is in her name and always has been. The ex now wants to totally remove his contribution towards the bond which is 2/3 of the R9000 monthly instalment. I do contribute substantially to the household. Can he remove all costs to do with his children’s accommodation or just reduce his contribution to 1/2 in stead of 2/3 of the instalment? The mother also receives maintenance since she receives a very small income as a freelance photographer.

    1. The Order must be followed. If written authorization is not obtained, the we advise that the mother approach the court to change the order as it seems to be problematic in practice.

  135. Hi I have a one year old daughter. Her father is unemployed and does not support her.. what can I do? because he is not willing to do anything even look after her when I need to go somewhere

  136. Father

    I have a 7 year old … I pay R800.00 for maintenance and arrears.. R200.00 towards arrears and R600.00 monthly maintenance… for 2years I had struggle to get a work.. but for the pass 3 years I had kept my promise to make up for my children.. to support them financially due to me of being unemployed.. but know the 7 year olds mother had filed a case for me to pay my arrears in full.. but I kept my promise to pay R200.00 towards my arrears… I do not have any assets.. nor moveable assets to sell to update 2years of arrears.. any advice will appreciate it

  137. Hi.
    I am an employed father and i have a 6 years old son with my ex girlfriend, i have been supporting my son but stopped 6 months ago due to financial issues. Now she went to maintenance court and i’m expected to appear in August 2018. I would like to know if the mother is unemployed, the total expenses of the child should be divided among parents or it’s the sole reponsibility of the employed parent?

    1. The Court would consider the means of the parents. If the mother really cannot afford, then the court could make an Order that the father pays for everything.

  138. Hello I have a 7 year old daughter her dad has not been maintaining her in the last 6 years I have been doing everything by myself with no problems bt now I need him to do his part and support his daughter regardless of the fact that I can take care of her by myself.. He says he is working bt I am not sure I hear stories that he is not working so can I still apply for maintenance even thou I am not sure if he is working or not? N if he is not working can I get something from him or not I really need him to help me as now I am drowning with all my mine daughters expenditure ?

    1. Hello. We advise that you approach the Maintenance Court ASAP even though it is possible that he is not working. Not working is not an excuse not to pay. The Court would deal with that issue.

  139. If the father is not working now but when he was working he was paying for maintenance of the child what can he do now as he’s still looking for a job and doesn’t have any income?

  140. I am 31 years lady and since 10/02/2017 until now am not workinh and my son is 1 year 3 months and his father earn 10000 and he gives him 800 and which is not enough because am not breastfeeding him, he uses formula and he also use nappy and every months he goes to the doctor because he have allergies and he don’t eat everything and when i told the father about the situation of the money he says that he has a lawyer that can speak on his behalf an

  141. Good Afternoon

    The child’s father is very inconsistent with paying for child maintenance. Some month he does and some month he doesn’t claiming that he doesn’t have money. I understand that he doesn’t have a job but he lives a very expensive lifestyle. I carry most of the costs for my daughter and all I’m asking him to do is to make an effort.

    I think I have reached the end of my tether and I’m considering taking him to maintenance court.

    Will the court consider my case even if the father isn’t working as he claims?

    Your advise is appreciated.

  142. Good day,

    I have an 11 year old son and 6 year old daughter. I divorced their mother and got the final divorce decree in the month of February 2018. I am unemployed since the 1st of February 2018 and has seen my kids alternate weekends and the first term school holiday. If it wasnt for the final divorce decree,I wouldve never gotten access to see both my children. Recently, I got subpoened by the maintenance court where I have to appear in court but I dont know what I can do because I have been struggling to get a job since February 2018. Most employers confirms verbally that they cant hire me due to my experience and skills I obtained over the years in IT. Out of spitefulness, my childrens mother filed the case at the maintenance court against me due the fact that on the 3rd of March 2018,she got arrested for violating the high court order. She refused to let me see my kids because she demanded that I pay maintenance first before she let me see them. I was the one that paid the laywers R1500 each month and still tried to pay maintenance in between but I still couldnt see my children up until the final divorce decree was issued to me and her. I want to know, seeing that I am still unemployed, trying to find a job, what can I do? My rent is 4 months behind plus my childrens maintenance as well. What can I do to solve this matter or how do I go about it? Can I ask that the court modify the final divorce decree and decrease the child maintenance? I dont have any immovable assets, no car etc…Trying to find a job but no luck… What can I do?

  143. Good day,

    I have a 6 years old daughter and I have been supporting her alone for the past 5 years without the help of the father. Now he recently started to maintain her for the last 6 months and he contributes R800 and it not enough to take my daughter through the whole month because i pay transport, lunch box and small needy stuff.I am currently not working and living with a single parent. I can afford to make contribution in the house in terms of buying food, where it gets to a point that sometimes we go to bed hungry. I asked the father to increase the amount a bit since VAT has increased. Is the money that he paying reasonable. He is been permanent at standard bank head office for 5 years, only changing departments. He has a car and flat. Please help how much is he supposed to be paying for maintenance?

  144. How can i get the child father bank accounts to proof that he has an income unlike the lies he is telling that he is unemployed

  145. Hi there

    What happens in the case where the father supports his 2 kids every month.Now the mother can’t get more that r850 per child she wants to go to court to get more.she is becoming greedy but gets paid way more than what he gets.what do i do?

    1. The mother has a right to go to Court. The Court would assess the matter, and if there are merits, make the appropriate order.

  146. Good Day

    I have a predicament. After my children’s father and I split up 5 years ago he had a stroke. He has been in a home for about 3 years now which his brother is paying for. I have been looking after my children by myself for the past 4 and half years with no maintenance which is understandable, but as they are getting older their needs are getting bigger and I just cant keep up anymore. I used to work between 60 and 100 hours per week just so I can give my children the basics they need but that also took its toll as I hardly ever saw my children. Their father hasn’t seen them in months and its not a lack from me trying from my side. Begging and pleading with him and his brother to take the children to go see him. Now my question is what can I as a mother do getting some sort of maintenance from him? Even if its just a R1000. I have 3 children with him. Please help, I’m at my wits end

    1. Good day
      If he truly cannot afford, then there is not much you can do. However, we advise that you approach the maintenance court to do an inquiry.

  147. Hi. My ex girl friend has 2 children. One is mine the other one is not. I told her I can contribute R1500.00 for my child, but she is refusing. I suspect she wants more money because the father of her other child does not support her child. She is unemployed.
    I work and have another child with my current girlfriend who I am supporting.
    I don’t see why I must give he more then R1500pm considering that I don’t spend more the R1500 on my other child as well.
    My question is can she ask for more money based on the fact that I drive an expensive car?

  148. Hi I would like to know I’m currently unemployment studying part time and my baby daddy is not supporting his child,can I get child support???

  149. Hello. My brother paid maintenance to his new born baby that resides with the mother opposite our house. My brother recently lost his job and was unable to pay. As a result the mother refused him access to the child since he is temporarily not employed. Can he apply to court for access even though he is not working and has been making attempts to get employment?

  150. Hello. My brother paid maintenance to his new born baby that resides with her mother opposite our house. When he lost his job, he could not pay anymore and was as a result prevented from seeing the child. The child is now 1 year old. Can she keep the baby away from him as he is unemployed for 7 months and have been trying his best to find a new job? Can he still seek advice to get reasonable access to the child?

  151. Hi. I imagine have twin boys born in 2014 whom I was supporting since they were born till late 2016 when their mother refused me to see and bond with them. In December 2017 I was summoned to appear at the maintenance court which I did and came to an agreement with the mother of my boys that I will continue keeping the boys on my medical aid, will pay for their school and transport fees, by them clothes biannually of R3000 each term and pay monthly grocery money of R1000. So in January I defaulted as she had lied to me regarding the kids attending school I had to start from scratch regarding their school issues which costed me more than I anticipated. Again in March when she told me she’s working i told her I will do the rest except for food she’ll cover and mind you she is also receiving social grant money for both , she then approached the court and we couldn’t agree regarding the arrears as I want to reduce the money I pay. Please advise

  152. Hi
    I have a 2 year old son. My ex wife and i are no longer married and she now resides with her mother, sister, and brother. So altogether there are 5 members including my son. I have been paying my maintenance for my son every month for 6 months. My wife’s family’s living conditions are poor. Now my wifes mother has informed me that her rent has increased, water and lights have increased, the transports fees are too much and theres hardly food for them but only food for my son etc. They have informed me that i have to increase my maintenance and have given me a very large figure to pay. They are saying that i must pay R11000 yet i don’t even earn this much.
    What can i do?

    1. Good day. Pay what you can afford and believe is fair and reasonable considering the child’s best interests. If they are not happy with it, they must take it to the Maintenance Court.

  153. Good day

    what is your baby daddy has never payed child maintenance and the child is now nine and you decide to take him to the maintenance court can you also claim for all the years he didn’t maintain the child?

  154. Good day sir

    My childs father did not pay his child support for the month of May and want to pay after June. What can I do in this situation cause my child need the money

  155. Good day,

    Please advise, my brother is unemployed and does odd mechanical jobs to make quick cash. he currently has 2 kids 4 yrs and 6 months old. the mother is not working and states she cannot do so due to the kids.
    the mother of the kids filed for maintenance and they served him an order to pay maintenance for both kids including rental for her place shes staying. My brother is a chronic patient diabetes and high blood pressure and due to the stress of not being able to afford the payment required he had a heart attack and doctor advised him to stop working he cannot do mechanical jobs due to his heart condition. what does he do now that he cannot work anymore and the mother is medically fit and refuses to work?

  156. Good day

    I would like to know can a person who is working under contract or who is not permanent pay maintenance?

  157. Afternoon,
    It has been advised my a Physiologist that my two children spend more time with their dad, therefore the now spend every second week with him, meaning we now have them half the month each.
    He is now wanting to reduce my maintenance, which he pays is for school fees and he pays their medical aid.
    I cannot afford to let that happen, I rent a house, he owns a house which he hardly stays at as he stays more at his fiancee house, I have a car to pay for, her has a company car, plus earns at least R8000.00 more than I do. He unfortunately does not see that he should be paying more towards maintenance than me, he believes everything is strictly 50/50, even if he pays the kids something like a swimming cap for school, he will send me the slip so I can pay half back to him.
    At the end of every year, he tells me what he will be increasing the maintenance by, I have no say in the matter. He will take the annual school fees add them altogether and divide by the 12 months, and pays me according, he does not understand that the school fees need to be paid over 11 months and extra classes over ten months, therefore I have to pay in the short fall every month, to pay the correct monthly fees, which are in fact due.
    Will he gets this reduction right at court?
    Thank you for your time.

    1. It is impossible for us to predict what the court would decide. We advise that the issue gets resolved at the maintenance court. They would look at all the expense and income and make an assessment.

  158. Hi

    I just wanted to know what happens if you and the father of your child isn’t on speaking terms and the father gets paid way more then you do, how much according to maintenance court should he be giving towards the child since we were never married just in a relationship.

  159. Hi , if your kid of 16 drop out of school ..are you still liable to pay maintenance ?

  160. I have been paying maintenance for my two children from a previous marriage. I am currently under debit review so my finances are very tight until the end of my debit review. I am now in a long term relationship and my partner and we have a child together, she recently lost her job so now i am the sole breadwinner in the house as i have to cover the costs of the finances she was assisting (food, petrol, schools fees) with i find i am not able to cover the additional expenses and my maintenance what can i do ???

    1. We advise you approach the maintenance court an apply for a variation of the order. If there are valid grounds, the court would grant it.

  161. I have been paying maintenance of R18,000.00 per month for my two children as per divorce settlement and order of court dated 1 January 2016. In September 2017 I became unemployed, and have not been able to find employment as yet. My ex-wife agreed verbally in September 2017 to waive the monthly maintenance, until such time as I became employed. She is the trustee of a family trust that receives substantial dividends from an investment every year, so she has been maintaining the children from these proceeds and has made no demand on me to date to pay any maintenance. An attorney friend suggested that I should still approach the maintenance court and have the maintenance order discharged, as there is a risk she may turn around later and claim retrospectively the monthly maintenance in arrears. What would be your advice?

  162. Good day I have a 14 year old daughter and me and her farther separated when she was 5 years old. He got married he always gave he’s child everything she was never short of anything up utility he got married . He’s now only pay g schoolfees of 2200 and not giving anything else towards her I’m not working. What can be done here please


  164. How much do I have to pay for my child maintenance when im getting R1800 pm and her mother gets R13 000 pm?

    1. We would require the costs of the child for a better guess. Based on what you provided only, your contribution should be less. There are however many more factors to consider.

  165. I am paying R1500 sometimes R1000 as child maintenance without any court ruling for my two sons.
    My girlfriend needs to exceed the amount to R2000 per month, does that falls under not paying child maintenance?

    1. You should pay what is fair considering the income of the mother, yours and the expenses of the children and the parents. If you are paying too little considering the income and expenses of all concerned, then there is a case for the mother to go to court.

  166. Hi

    I have a 5 year son and need to know how much I can pay for him for maintenance if her mother takes me to court and I am a contractor @ my work even now my contract is ending this month so I don’t know if they will renew it or what but for this years I was trying my best to contribute and I have another 3 kids besides him and I have no complains because they understand if I have enough I do my best but because of our past with the mother of my 5 year son things are not good

    1. Good day

      One has to look at your income, your expenses and the same for the mother and the child. The a fair amount must be decided one.

  167. I have a 14 year old son. His dad stopped paying maintenance of R200 in 2008. I have naturally allowed him access to his son for all the years but throughout his Dad has been full of excuses for not being employed for this past 10 years. He is in the Christian ministry and does not have a secure or consistent income. Do i have any rights to claim the arrears or maintenance in general for my son who is not in High School and who’s financial needs have increased significantly. Baring in mind that I have been the sole provider and was recently unemployed. The father never report to the maintenance back then that he lost his job…

  168. I am writing on behalf of my daughter. What amount of maintenance can she claim for herself (was a housewife for R13 years and her daughter of 14 years. They lived a middle class lifestyle. My daughter is not sure as her husband who has yet to divorce her held the purse strings, and only gave her money as she needed it.

    1. As we do not know what the income of the husband is and the expenses of all concerned, we suggest to claim an amount that would care for your needs as in the past.

  169. Can the court order my property to be sold for maintenance while i have other kids who live in that house and while my ex is working?

  170. The father of my child is not working but he invested in property that is in his father’s name and he doesn’t want to support his child claiming that he doesn’t get any income

  171. My daughter turned 18. Her mother does not make any financial contribution at all. She does not pay maintenance does not buy clothes, toileteries give her pocket money, provide food, shelter, take care of her health, nothing whatsoever. I have raised her by myself and gave up trying to compelled her to pay towards raising our daughter. Can my daughter claim maintenance from the mother who owns a business? When my daughter asks the mother for money she yells at her and tells her not to put her under pressure yet claims to love her. She claims her husband is her responsibility however he also owns a business. My daughter is first year student at CPUT and studies architectural technology and requires much in terms of stationery and will live at student residence because it saves me time and travel to take her to campus on a daily basis that takes 1,5- 2 hrs on the N2 on cape town. She will have to fend for herself because it is self catering. What recourse is there in terms of a delinquent mother who fails in her basic responsibilities.

  172. Is there a court order that can force the father of the children to be part of the children’s lives such as taking the kids during school holidays and/or weekends, even if he does not pay maintenance as he is unemployed and is not even looking for a job cause his family told him not to look for a job.

  173. The father of my childis unemployed but has invested in a business. He claimed not to have an income depending on his wife. The wife is also unemployed. They are living in the suburb. How can i trace his bank accounts to proof that he has an income.

    1. Assets are seen as means for the purposes of child support. We advise that you approach the maintenance court in your area as soon as possible and lay a complaint. It is possible for the maintenance court to subpoena banks to provide statements.

  174. Is it true that if the father is unemployed and cannot pay maintenance, the court can look at the income of other members of the household and take money from those members to maintain the house? if that is the case where in law is that provided for?

    1. The obligation to maintenance a child is with the father and not with third parties. Therefore, I we cannot see why the court would make an order against them.

      1. Good Day
        I read your response to the question that a childs father is unemployed and cannot pay maintenance with regards to the mother claiming from other people in the fathers household
        My thought were as yours
        My husband has been unemployed since Ocotber last year, he continued to pay maintenance until 3 month ago, he used money he got from his pension pay out and also unemployment to do this, along with paying his debts every month
        However 4 months ago he received his last unemployment cheque and since then I have taken over his debt, unfortunately i cannot take over the maintenance payments as I am left with nothing after I have paid all
        I have now been summons to curt as they want to claim this payment from me
        I must add that we are married in community op property.
        When they see that I do not have any money left can they go after other family members of my husband

  175. If you have 4 years left of paying child support. Is it possible to pay child support upfront.

    1. It may be impossible to determine what the expenses of a child would be in the future. Even if you pay a lump sum today, it may happen that the child needs more a year down the line.

  176. Hi There, If you have two children, with two different mothers, and one mother is asking a reasonable share of living expenses, and the other is asking for three times that amount, how will the court handle the matter?
    mother 1 claims R5000 maintenance including school fees and the other claims over R12 000 excluding school fees, which are R 6000 monthly as she has elected a very expensive private school while the other child attends a public school.
    she is claiming for wifi costs and tablet contract fees as well as dstv. the children are still very young and only a year apart in age. we are in a large amount of debt which we accumulated during our marriage and her maintenance amount causes me to default on my debt payments. she is living a lifestyle far beyond either of our means and putting us further into debt every month. what can i do?

  177. What are the fathers rights when it comes to maintenance? Is it not both the parents responsibility to take care of the child? And is it right for the unemployed mother to seek child maintenance from the father meanwhile the father is taking care of the child in every way possible?

    Please advise

  178. Good evening

    I have a question. My brother was taken to the maintenance court my his ex girl tgat is unemployed even though my brother was taking care of his child. He waspaying for the child school, buying him clothes Biannually and the child was on his medical aid. His unemployed girlfriend demanded that the give her the money for all the child’s expenses excluding medical aid. She listed a high amount for the child monthly expenses on purpose and the court granted her wish. Now they submitted a court order to my brothers workplace and he has to pay to forcefully pay that amount yet he was already taking care of his child

  179. Is it right that only the baby’s grandparents from the fathers side is providing for him. The mother and father is not working and the baby lives with his mother. The child’s mother is also living with her parents.

  180. My friend is paying maintenance, but the mother doesn’t allow him to see the child.. And the mother asked fir increase

  181. Please can you advise what procedure to follow when the father is self employed and does not show up for court dates and they cannot find him to arrest him. Is there a way to freeze his accounts, or what can one claim for child support?

  182. Hi I have a problem I have a 2year old child his dad is not working but have property and I don’t have his address wat can I do

    1. Good day

      Approach the maintenance court in your area for assistance. They would be able to trace him. The Court can also order that the property be sold and be used as Maintenance.

  183. Hi there , if i am employed and my ex girlfriend is not but she is still studying and staying with her parents and lets say my salary is under R7 000 a month ….. I would like to know how much maintenance am i liable for? And am i liable for experience like a aupair for when she goes to study ?

    Thank you

  184. I am asking for a friend. He is unemployed what proof can one provide to verify that…..also what proof does one provide to say they are job searching. He has nothing that can be sold and paid toward maintenance. When he does work he pays part toward it. Can the designated amount be somehow reduced, if so what procedure does one follow

    1. The Maintenance Courts provide job forms. When you apply for a job, you should ask the business to sign the form to show you are making an effort. The court can reduce the amount if you can show you are trying to get a job, and cannot afford the current maintenance amount.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like these

Call now