What you need to know
- Maintenance is money paid by a responsible person at periodic intervals or at once to a dependant for the dependant’s up keeping and other living needs.
- Dependant means a person who by law is supposed to be maintained by the responsible person, who could be minor child (Child below 18 years); a major child (above 18 years) who is not capable of looking after himself because of some mental or physical disability; a spouse, a divorced spouse; stepchild or adopted child who is a minor or a major who has to be maintained at law.
- Responsible person means a person who at law has the duty to maintain another person.
- Maintenance is claimed in the Magistrate’s Court (Civil Division) or in the High Court (Civil Division).
- The claim for maintenance is made either by way of a court application or through summons.
- The application for maintenance or the summons must state the name and address of the person seeking maintenance, how the person is a dependant, and the person’s maintenance needs.
- The matter will then be set down for hearing in the the appropriate court where a maintenance order will be granted.
- A person may approach the appropriate court to have an existing maintenance order varied.
- An existing order will be varied on application to the court.
- The person seeking a variation must state on affidavit why he/she requires a maintenance order to varied.
- Reasons for seeking variation may include increase in the income of the responsible person, increase in the needs of the dependent or loss of value in money due to inflation.
- A maintenance order can be discharged by the court at any time for any good cause shown, e.g that the responsible person is no longer capable of contributing maintenance, the child being maintained is now self-supporting, the person being maintained has died etc.
To be on the safe side, involve your lawyer through and through
Contact us any time with any questions and set up an appointment with our lawyers for full legal advice. Call us on 04 752870