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CJN aims to contribute to a well-informed community that is conscious of its rights and is mobilised to access justice, this is why we will continuously bring you valuable information on your rights as a South African citizen. The problem of parent-less children is a serious issue in our country with a lot of families bearing the burden of raising children under severe financial constraints. Below is some information on the child maintenance act – aimed at keeping parents accountable towards their children. Have a look at this article and read how Mediation Academy created a free app for calculating child maintenance  

What is Child Maintenance Act?

Child Maintenance Act is under the jurisdiction of the Family Court. The aim of the Maintenance Act 99 of 1998 is to ensure that all parents honor their duty to maintain and support their child/children. This is done by means of deducting a portion of the parent’s salary.  In the past many parents defaulted on the court’s judgement to pay maintenance and this resulted in the amending of the Act to The Maintenance Amendment Act (Act No 9 of 2015), which would assist in tracing maintenance defaulters and issue a warrant of arrest if necessary. This came into effect on 05 June 2018.

Facts on Child Maintenance:

  • Child Maintenance is the responsibility of both parents.
  • Both parents must support their child/children until they are independent and self-supporting.
  • The Family Court determines how much the child needs.
  • If maintenance isn’t paid, the court can take the money from a parent’s salary, their investment account, auction their property or issue a warrant of arrest.  
  • The maintenance amount can increase or decrease depending on financial circumstances.
  • Parents whether married, living together, separated, or divorced and parents of adopted children, are required to support the financial needs of their child/children.
  • The grandparents may need to pay maintenance, if the child’s parents were married.

Documents needed to apply for Maintenance:  

  • Birth certificate of your child/children.
  • Your identity document (the parent submitting the maintenance claim at court).
  • Proof of residence.
  • A divorce settlement (if parents were married).
  • Complete and submit Form A
  • Proof of your monthly income and expenses.
  • The personal details of the parent required to pay maintenance such as their name, surname physical and work address.
  • Copy of your bank statement.

For more information please contact your local magistrate court.  


Compiled by: Prince Moloi

Editorial Intern: CJN