Children’s maintenance is founded on the common law duty of support which exists between a parent and their child. Every child has the right to be maintained by their parents, and the Maintenance Act accordingly authorizes a maintenance officer at Court to thoroughly investigate maintenance enquiries.
Our Attorneys have in-depth knowledge of the maintenance system of South Africa and are highly skilled in handling maintenance matters. We pride ourselves in ensuring that each child’s needs are met whilst acknowledging that maintenance contributions must be made within the payer’s reasonable means.
We offer a range of maintenance services including:
• Drafting and lodging of maintenance applications
• Drafting maintenance settlement agreements
• Variation and Substitution applications
• Discharge applications
• Rescission of default judgment
• Applications for arrear maintenance
• Section 31 enquiries
• Section 10 Maintenance Trials
Frequently asked questions.
1. What is maintenance?
Maintenance refers to a sum of money payable to another person based on a legal duty to support that person.
2. Who may apply for a maintenance order on behalf of a minor child?
A parent, guardian or caregiver of a child may approach a maintenance court to lodge an application for a maintenance order.
3. How do I apply for maintenance?
To apply for a maintenance order, the applicant must lodge a prescribed application form with the clerk of the maintenance court.
The applicant will have to provide supporting documents such as a copy of the applicant’s identity document, the minor child’s birth certificate, and a breakdown of income and expenditure.
4. Can I claim maintenance if the father of my child denies paternity?
Section 21 of the Maintenance Act 99/1998 provides that if a the paternity of a child is in dispute, the maintenance officer may, before making a maintenance order, direct the parties as well as the minor child to submit to paternity testing subject to consent by the parties to undergo medical testing.
5. What to do if the respondent is not complying with a maintenance order?
If a respondent against whom a maintenance order has been granted fails to comply with such an order, the respondent may be held in contempt of court and face criminal prosecution.
Non-compliance with a maintenance order may be remedied by civil execution or criminal proceedings.
Section 26 of the Act provides remedies under civil execution including:
• Authorization to issue a warrant in execution.
• An emolument attachment order.
• An order for the attachment of debt.
On the other hand, section 31 of the Act provides for a complaint of non-compliance to be lodged with the clerk of the court, where after the accused will be subpoenaed to attend a trial in the criminal court.