Maintenance is the obligation to provide another person, for example a minor, with housing, food, clothing, education and medical care, or with the means that are necessary for providing the person with these essentials. This legal duty to maintain is called ‘the duty to maintain’ or ‘the duty to support’.
The duty to maintain is based on blood relationship, adoption, or the fact that the parties are married to each other.
A child must be supported or maintained by
You may claim reasonable support that is necessary for providing the child or other person who has a right to maintenance with a proper living and upbringing. This includes providing necessities such as food, clothing and housing, as well as paying for a proper education. The court may also order the father to contribute to the payment of laying-in expenses and maintenance from the date of the child's birth up to the date on which the maintenance order is granted. The court may also grant an order for the payment of medical expenses, or may order that the child be registered on the medical scheme of one of the parties as a dependant. To enable the court to grant a fair maintenance order, both parties must provide the court with proof of their expenses.
Your view of the other parent's behaviour has no effect on your children's right to maintenance. You still have to pay maintenance, even if the other parent
Your duty to pay maintenance and your right of access to your children are two entirely separate matters and one has no relation to the other. Furthermore, children of either party do not influence the duty to support. However, the amount of maintenance to be paid may be amended by the court if either of the parties should bring such an application.
Source: The Department of Justice& Constitutional Development March 2019.
Free Advice! Family Law Clinic South Africa:
Reach out to a community of legal professionals for legal commentary.
Note: The practical application of the information provided will vary depending on the facts of each case. JusDraft, Epoq Legal and supporting companies or individuals providing commentary cannot be held liable in any way.
Not a JusDraft member and want to draft a document yourself? Visit The Law Store
Our law guide been prepared for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice, or a legal opinion.
The practical application of the provisions of law guide articles will vary depending on the facts of each case. The publication, author of the article and companies or individuals providing commentary cannot be held liable in any way.
If you are a JusDraft member you can contact our 24-Hour legal advice helpline (number displayed at the top of every page once logged in). Alternatively, you can contact the Legal Aid Advice Line 0800 110 110.