When a relationship between parents ends, one of the most difficult topics to negotiate is child maintenance. While both parents may want what is best for their children, coming to an agreement on financial contributions can be challenging.
This blog post will provide an overview of how to apply for child maintenance in South Africa. Read on to learn more.
Filing for Child Maintenance in South Africa
If you are the parent of a child residing in South Africa, and you are not receiving child maintenance from the other parent, you can apply to the Maintenance Court for an order directing the other parent to pay maintenance.
You will need to complete an application form and file it with the Maintenance Court. The form is available from any magistrate’s court.
Alternatively, you can obtain the form from the Department of Justice website.
When completing the form, you will need to provide information about yourself, your child, and the other parent. You will also need to provide financial information, including your income and expenses.
Child Maintenance if Unemployed in South Africa
If you are unemployed, you can still apply for child maintenance from your child’s other parent. In South Africa, the Child Maintenance Act 76 of 1998 sets out the guidelines and procedures for both parents to follow in order to get child maintenance payments.
The application process is relatively simple, and you can find more information on the Department of Social Development website.
You will need to provide evidence that you are unemployed and have no income, as well as evidence of your child’s other parent’s income. The court will then calculate a monthly payment based on your circumstances.
If you are unemployed but have other sources of income, such as rental income or a pension, you may still be able to receive child maintenance payments from your child’s other parent.
Apply for Child Maintenance Online
You can apply for child maintenance online in South Africa through the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development website. You will need to register an account and then log in to complete the application form.
How to calculate child maintenance in South Africa
South African law stipulates that the amount of child maintenance to be paid is based on the parents’ incomes and the number of children they have. The more children a parent has, the higher the monthly maintenance payment will be.
The Maintenance Act specifies that, as a general rule, the parent with whom a child resides should pay the other parent for that child’s support.
If both parents reside with their children, then they both pay each other an equal share of the monthly payment. If one parent does not reside with their children, then that parent pays 100% of the monthly maintenance payment.
To calculate child maintenance in South Africa, you can use this formula:
Maintenance = ( Parent’s Income – Maintenance payable to other children) ÷ 2).
For example, if a parent earns R10,000 per month and has two other children, the maintenance payable for the first child would be R2,500 per month ((10,000-2,500) ÷ 2).
If you need more help or information, you can contact the Department of Social Development.
Free Child Maintenance Calculator South Africa
South Africa has a Free Maintenance Calculator that determines how much maintenance (alimony) a spouse or partner is required to pay to the other spouse or partner.
The calculator takes into account both the income of each party and the custodial arrangement of any dependent children.
To use the calculator, simply input each person’s income, select whether there are dependent children, and indicate which spouse or partner will have custody of said children. The results will show how much maintenance needs to be paid monthly, as well as annually.
How Much Child maintenance Should a Father Pay in South Africa?
In South Africa, the amount of maintenance a father pays is typically based on a percentage of his income. The Maintenance Act defines four classes of income and sets different maintenance percentages for each class.
The Act also allows the court to deviate from the set percentages where it would be unjust or inequitable to do so, after taking into account all the relevant circumstances.
Maintenance payments are also subject to review and adjustment in light of changed circumstances. For more information, please see the Maintenance Act of 1998 amended in 2017.
Failure to Pay Child Maintenance South Africa
There can be a number of reasons why someone may fail to pay child maintenance in South Africa. Some common reasons include financial difficulties, unemployment, or simply not being able to afford the payments.
If you are struggling to make child maintenance payments, it is important to speak to your ex-partner or the person you are paying maintenance to, as well as the Maintenance Court, in order to come up with a payment plan that works for both parties.
Child Maintenance Over 18 South Africa
In South Africa, child maintenance is usually only payable until a child turns 18. However, there may be circumstances in which maintenance payments could be extended beyond this age, such as if the child is still studying or if they are disabled.
If you are seeking child maintenance from a parent and they refuse to pay, you can contact the Maintenance Court for assistance.