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Question

30 May 2011

ATT: FIO
Hi FIO

I apologize for this, but I posted (post113) on the 25 May - and no one has responded. I see you respond to most of the posts.

I wanted advise - I have a friend who has been uneployed for 5yrs and she wants to claim maintenance for her daughther. How is this calculated in court cause as far as I know both parents bring their income and expenses and the court calculates an amount for the child. The father currently contributes almost R500 every month (R250 cash and R250 clothes and food) but my friend does not work so how would the court handle this?

Anon
Family law expert
family law expert

01 Jan 0001

Essentially, child maintenance is calculated as a percentage of each parents income divided proportionately to meet the children’s needs.

Lets us use an example of a woman who is the primary caregiver of 2 children earning R10 000/month and a father who earns R15 000 per month.

The children’s needs are taken into account as a percentage of the total household expenditure divided proportionately. 2/3 of the rent, 2/3 of the food cost, 2/3 of the cleaning cost etc.

Let us assume that the total cost of living in the mother's home is R9 000. That amount would be two thirds apportioned to the children giving a total of R6 000.

Then we take the both parents income, add it together and then divide the individual parents income by the total to give a proportion of the children’s costs to be paid by each parent.

In this example the mother or custodial parent would be responsible for 40% of the children's costs and the father 60%.

The maintenance order would be made against the father, who would now be responsible to pay R3 600 in maintenance to the children’s mother. The method of payment, be it by deposit into an account or payment of certain things like medical aid etc, will be specified along with the date it is due.

Bertus Preller
Family Law Attorney
Abrahams and Gross Inc.
A:1st Floor, 56 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town, 8000
O: +27 (0) 21 422 1323
E: bertus@divorceattorney.co.za
W: www.divorceattorney.co.za