annali-erasmus

Maintenance

We assist parties in obtaining maintenance in both their personal capacities, as well as on behalf of their children / grandchildren. The local Maintenance Court in your area will assist you in laying the claim against the other party. You will be expected to bring proof of marriage (if applicable), alternatively the child's birth certificate, your identity document, your bank statements and salary advice (if you do work), and then proof of expenses.  Maintenance can be claimed against your spouse if you are still married, or against the parents of the father / mother if that person is not employed.

 

We also obtain maintenance for divorcing parties whilst the divorce is still pending, as this can be a long drawn out process.  We can also assist you in acting against a maintenance payer who ignores the Maintenance Order, by obtaining a garnishee order at his place of employment, or attaching a pending Pension Fund pay out if there is an existing Maintenance Order in place and there exists a very real chance that the person who has to pay the maintenance, is going to abscond and not pay.

Amending Maintenance Orders

Maintenance is never carved in stone. As your life changes, your income as well as your monthly needs will change. An application for the variation of maintenance can therefore be brought at the Maintenance Court if you can show sufficient reason or a change in circumstances for the Court to grant you such an order.


Changes in circumstances could include a drop in salary, losing your employment, your spouse losing his / her employment, ill health ,etc.  At the same token Maintenance Orders can be amended to be increased as well.  In many circumstances a Maintenance Order would include an escalation clause that keeps track with inflation, but in the event of this not having been inserted in your Order, you can apply for an increase based purely on the fact that your expenses have increased and your maintenance has remained stagnant. 


After divorce, spousal maintenance can therefore be amended to either be reduced or even fall away, should the circumstances permit. We can assist you in bringing such an application and will guide you through the process. 

Maintenance against Grandparents

Grandparents also have a legal duty to maintain their grandchildren if the children’s parents are unable to maintain them financially.  We often find that parents simply refuse to maintain their children and would even go so far as to resign from their employment simply to avoid having to pay maintenance for their children. If parents cannot pay maintenance and the Court is satisfied that the parent cannot pay, the Court can proceed against the grandparents of the child. In many cases therefore it tends to spur a parent on to start paying if his / her parents are to be made a party to the proceedings. 


This is the case for both children born from marriages or out of a relationship where the parties were not married. 

Post Divorce Maintenance

Maintenance after divorce for a spouse is referred to as spousal maintenance and can be of a rehabilitative nature (in order to allow that party to rehabilitate himself / herself- therefore not of a permanent nature and is normally ordered for a set period.


A spouse can also receive maintenance on a permanent basis or until that spouse’s death or remarriage. Should a maintenance paying spouse retire or lose his / her employment and no longer be able to afford paying the spousal maintenance due to this reason, he / she can approach the Maintenance Court and request the Court to vary the existing Maintenance Order due to this reason. 


All Maintenance Orders can be amended if there is a significant change in circumstances on either side.  As such, Maintenance Orders can be shortened or extended based on the circumstances of each case.

Arrear Maintenance

if maintenance payable in terms of a court order remains unpaid it becomes a criminal offence. If a parent ignores his or her duty to pay maintenance, we can assist you in obtaining a garnishee order against that party’s salary, or have a warrant issued for that person’s arrest. Maintenance only becomes arrear maintenance if a court has ordered that party to pay maintenance and he/she didn’t comply with the order.


A party who has a maintenance order against him/her cannot deduct payments made over and above the actual amount payable- eg.shoes or clothes bought, and the amount that has been ordered must be paid regardless of the fact of that party has bought extra items for the benefit of the child. A parent also cannot deduct maintenance if the child goes to visit the other parent for a holiday or long weekends- the maintenance payable will remain the same.

Future Maintenance

Future maintenance refers to maintenance payable in the future. We often assist parties who receive maintenance from another party who decides to retire prior to his or her maintenance duty having fallen away.We approach the court here with an application setting out our calculation of the actual maintenance needs of the party or the children. In the case of children it will be until they become majors. The money is then frozen where it is being held(either at the Pension Fund Administrators or relevant bank) and the parties will be granted an opportunity to show the court their reasoning behind the applicaiton.


Maintenance paying parents can therefore not retire whilst their children are still young and expect not to be held accountable for their children’s reasonable maintenance needs. We often bring applications like these as many parties retire prior to their children being self supporting.

 

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Uitenhage Branch

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Address:

39 Baird Street

Uitenhage

South Africa

 

Contact Information: 

Tel:   (041) 992-5550
Fax:  (041) 992-5551

Email:  info@aeinc.co.za

PE Branch

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Address:

7 Bird Street

Central

Port Elizabeth

6001

 

Contact Information:

Tel: 041 8200455 / 041 4504475

Email:  info@aeinc.co.za

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