When compared to extreme cases, like a case of fraud, child maintenance looks simple enough. But these cases are usually a bit complicated, exhausting, and more importantly challenging.
But with the right information, that doesn’t have to be the case. By checking the ICLG database, you’ll inform yourself completely and you’ll be prepared for any possible legal roadblock ahead.
In order to help you understand the basics, here are a few things about child maintenance cases you might know, that will help you go through the process with ease.
How Does Child Maintenance Work?
While thr subject matter is pretty complicated, we will try to explain it in just a few paragraphs. In short, you know that both parents of the child have to pay according to their mean. If your child’s expenses are R 50 (a fictitious amount used as an example) and the father earns R 1000 and the mother R 500, the father should contribute 40 and the mother should contribute 10.
But other factors play a role in this. For instance, you have the necessary expenses of both parents that determine how much they should contribute. What’s more, the assets of both parents also come into play. So if the father earns less than the mother, but owns assets worth a certain sum, while the mother doesn’t own assets at all, the father needs to pay for the majority of the child’s expenses.
The Basics of the Maintenance Court
If one of the parents doesn’t pay child maintenance, the maintenance court is there to step in and determine what exactly should be done. The court does this through a maintenance enquiry process. And once the court makes a maintenance order, not obliging to it becomes a criminal offence. In some cases, the court issues a warrant attaching salary or even property.
How Does the Court Make a Decision?
This is perhaps the most challenging part of any maintenance case, because the court can actually make an order only if there’s concrete evidence against one of the parents, that they can’t afford the maintenance. But in most cases, the lack of concrete evidence is what kills the case from the get-go.
If a mother claims the father can indeed afford the maintenance, but she comes to the court with nothing more than her words backing her up, the court probably won’t do a thing. And if the father comes to his defense with evidence that proves his claims, the case will be dismissed.
What Can a Mother do in This Case?
First thing’s first, you have to make sure that your maintenance application is short and concise, because if it’s excessive, the court will reject it immediately. Here are a few things you can do:
- Insist that the court appoints an investigator to look into father’s financial affairs.
- Also, ask the court to issue a subpoena against the father’s employer
- Make an effort to obtain the father’s banking account and bring it to court
- Ask the court to obtain a clear credit profile on the father
- Check the father’s social media accounts for useful details
Your case depends on you providing the evidence that your child really needs the requested amount. If you don’t manage to prove your claims, even if the father can afford it, the legal system won’t move a finger. Ensure that you have the proof before you go to court.