Maintenance and support

1. Who should pay maintenance in respect of a minor child?

There is a legal obligation on both biological parents or legal guardians of the minor child to pay maintenance.  If the biological parents cannot pay maintenance, it may be claimed from the grandparents.

2. Where can I lodge a claim for maintenance?

You can go to any local Magistrate’s Court in the district where you or the minor child resides.

3. How much should I pay for maintenance?

The amount of maintenance to be paid is determined by the needs of the minor child (taking into account all factors like food, clothing, accomodation, education and medical expenses) and the financial means of the parents.

4. Can I ask for an increase / decrease the maintenance amount after a court order was granted?

Yes, you can apply to the relevant court for the variation (increase or decrease) of the maintenance amount, if you can prove that your financial circumstances has changed.

5. What will happen if I stop paying maintenance after a court order was granted?

A warrant of execution in terms of section 27 of the Maintenance Act can be issued by a court against you.  Attachment of emoluments e.g. your salary in terms of section 28 and attachment of debts owing to you can also be granted by a court against you.