HELP: "I can't afford to pay the child maintenance my baby mama wants"

By Faeza
03 November 2016

Anonymous from Emalahleni writes: 

I have a child maintenance order granted against me, despite me informing the magistrate that I cannot afford the money the mother of my child is demanding. Can I appeal this order?

Ausi Nthabi responds:

To appeal a maintenance order,  you need to bring a High Court application in the province where the order was made. A notice of intention to appeal must be given to

the clerk of the maintenance court and delivered to the other party within 20

days of being made. The magistrate who made the order will then be given 14 days

to give a statement to the clerk of the maintenance court and in the statement he needs to state his reasons why he granted that order.

To make this appeal, you will need an

attorney but if you cannot afford one, the clerk will take the file to the public

prosecutor who will peruse the file and see if there is a good chance of success

and if there is, he or she can represent you. You can also represent yourself but

before going to court, you must meet a legal consultant who will coach you on

how to handle the case in court.