Contribute or pay...part 1


Sadly one of the most contentious topics in family law is most assuredly the maintenance of the minor child.


You have recently endured a messy divorce wherein you and your ex spouse or partner could not agree to maintenance for your minor child/ren and reserved it to be decided separately in the maintenance court. Your ex-spouse is wealthy, but is hiding some of his income and refusing to pay maintenance … what do you do?

Simple…let us break it down for you…

Both parents have the responsibility to contribute towards the maintenance of their minor child, depending on the means of both parents and the reasonable monthly needs of the minor child.

Essentially whomever earns the most contributes the most towards the maintenance of the minor child. Practically however the courts adopt the 50/50 sharing approach.

Should you be the primary caregiver of your minor child and you require a contribution towards the maintenance of your minor child, you can approach your local magistrate’s court for a court order for the maintenance contribution by the other parent.

The maintenance officer will require yourself to complete and sign a Form after obtaining certain documentation from yourself. Once completed and signed, a reference number will be allocated to your matter and you will be provided with a court date. There can be various court dates for maintenance matters and it is therefore advisable to have an experienced Family Law attorney at Court with you to attempt to limit the number of court appearances.

In part two, we will be discussing what you should do when you have managed to obtain a court order against the defaulting parent and they default on paying in terms of the court order.

Due to the vast minefield which maintenance essentially is, we would suggest that you approach an experienced Family Law attorney to assist yourself in this regard.

Should you require any assistance from our Family Law department, or any other department you are welcome to contact us on 011 897 1900, 076 777 1920 or


Article contributed by Elizma de Scally of Tuckers Attorneys.