Child Support Laws in South Africa

by Danyel Bierly

Child support, also known as child maintenance, in South Africa is ordered by the courts. Child maintenance is expected from both parents and includes families that have children born out of wedlock. Child maintenance is the ongoing financial support to aid in the expenses needed to raise the child or children.


Children need good clothing and support payments ensure they get them.

Child maintenance is money provided by the parent who does not have the child in their custody for more than half the time as the other parent. Child maintenance aids in covering necessary living expenses for the child and is ordered by the courts after review is conducted of each parent's individual income earnings. Child maintenance can be awarded to anyone caring for the child including but not limited to other family members, religious leaders or even doctors caring for the child more than the other parent.


Read all paperwork carefully when filling out the forms

To claim child maintenance in South Africa you must first apply at the Magistrate's court. It is not necessary to set an appointment and you can seek assistance from the clerk of courts to complete the proper forms. It is important to bring as much information about your personal financial information as possible to ease the process. You do not normally need a lawyer for this process as the maintenance officer will investigate your application. After the review has been made by the maintenance officer, both parents will be asked to join in an informal meeting to decide maintenance. If the parents cannot come to an agreement then the case is passed on to the magistrate for final decision.


Justice serves the needs of the children.

If maintenance has to be decided by the magistrate it then falls into a court order. If one of the parents does not appear for the case, the magistrate can order child maintenance anyway. If the parent ordered to pay child maintenance refuses to pay within 10 days after the court order, the court assumes the right to garnish the contempt parent's wages or sell their goods to obtain past dues. The court must be notified if you do not receive child maintenance after 10 days of the court order.

About the Author

Please allow me to narrate about myself. I have always excelled in editing, spell checking (manual not through the computer)and the like. I have a passion for writing, but unfortunately I only have poems from highschool as evidence. It has always been my desire to write for others or even to have the opportunity to edit for others. I know that I drive my co-workers crazy because I am always editing their emails. At the same time I have many that come to me to compose and check their emails because of my skills. I would love the opportunity to prove my natural talents. I have completed ENG101 and ENG102 with no less than a B average at Mesa Community College. I have hopes to hear from you soon.{{}}{{}}

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