My Ex isn’t paying his/her child maintenance

Child maintenance is the financial support paid by a non-resident parent* towards the upbringing of their child. Both parents’ legal responsibility is to provide for their child/children, even after separation or divorce. Unfortunately, not all non-resident parents fulfil their obligation to pay child maintenance, leaving the resident parent with the full financial burden of raising their child. In such situations, enforcing child maintenance becomes essential.

Enforcing child maintenance means taking legal action to ensure that the non-resident parent pays their fair share of the costs of raising the child. Enforcement of maintenance orders is dealt with in sections 26 - 30 of the Maintenance Act 99 of 1998 (hereinafter “the Maintenance Act”), and provides for the following remedies:

  • Execution against property
  • Emolument attachment
  • Attachment of debt
  • Criminal charges

Enforcing child maintenance is not always straightforward, and there may be obstacles to overcome. Non-resident parents may refuse to pay, hide their assets, or move abroad to avoid their financial obligations. In such cases, it is essential to seek legal advice and SVN Attorneys is here to assist. Don’t hesitate to get the help that is needed.

In conclusion, enforcing child maintenance is a vital process that ensures the financial support of children is shared between both parents. The legal system provides the necessary tools to enforce child maintenance payments, and it is essential for both parents to fulfil their legal obligations towards their child. While enforcing child maintenance may be challenging, it is ultimately in the child’s best interests and well-being.

Note* we refer to non-resident parents in this article, but the same principle applies when the parents reside together.


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