How much child maintenance should he be paying?

One of our readers was unsure as to how much her child's father should be contributing to the livelihood of their child.

Our Legal expert, Sheri Breslaw shared her knowledge on the matter.

Question: How much maintenance should the father of my child be paying?

Sheri's Answer:
In our law there is no set amount that a parent should pay for maintenance in respect of their child, and each case is decided based on the situation of the specific family.

The generally accepted principle is that each parent is obliged to maintain his/her child, pro rata in accordance with his/her means.

How this works is that the monthly needs/expenses of the child will first have to be calculated. Once this is done, a court will look at the salaries of each parent and then apportion the child's costs proportionally between the parents.

So for example, if it is decided that the monthly costs of the child are R6 000, and parent A earns R20 000 per month, and parent B earns R40 000 per month, parent A will have to pay one-third of the child's costs (R2 000) each month, and parent B will pay two-thirds (R4 000) per month.

Have any questions you'd like to ask Sheri or any other Work and Money experts? Go over the experts section and ask away!

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