MAINTENANCE

What is Maintenance? 

Maintenance is a legal obligation to provide another person with housing, food, clothing, education, basic medical care and any other necessary essentials.

In terms of the Maintenance Act, persons who can be supported include, Minor Children, Spouses and any other person legally entitled to Maintenance.

Children have a right to be supported financially by both parents, whether they were born in or out of marriage, or adopted.

 

What you need for a Maintenance Application:

  • Certified copies of you Identity Document/ Passport
  • Certified copy of your child/ children’s Birth Certificate
  • All you monthly income and expenses for three months such as:
    •  Accommodation Costs;
    • School fees, stationary, school uniform;
    • extra mural activities;
    • Water and lights
    • Rates and taxes
    • Groceries
    • Clothing costs
    • Travelling costs
    • Medical expenses, etc

 

Procedure:

All the above mentioned documents must be complied and taken to court along with a commissioned application. The Maintenance offer will issue the application and produce a directive to be served on the Respondent with a notice to appear in court on a particular date.

Non-compliance with directive issued by the maintenance officer is an offense punishable by law.

On the date of appearance, the maintenance officer will investigate your complaint to determine if you have a valid claim against the respondent. If there is a legal obligation upon the respondent the maintenance officer will then conduct a mediation session to determine if there is a prospect of settlement and an agreed maintenance order.

If the person liable does not agree to consent to the claim for maintenance the maintenance officer will refer your application to maintenance court for a financial inquiry to determine the needs of the applicant and the means available to provide maintenance from both parties. Where the respondent is found liable to pay maintenance, the court will make an order against the respondent to contribute a specific amount to maintenance.

 

Payment:

The court can order maintenance to be paid in one of the following ways:

  • Garnishee Order – Employer is ordered by the court to deduct the money directly from the respondents salary;
  • Direct payment into a bank account nominated by yourself

 

Duration:

Maintenance applications finalisation depends on the co-operation of the parties. Should an agreement be reached during medication the maintenance application will be finalised on the same day and be made an order of court. Should the application be opposed a full financial inquiry will need to be done which can take several months as several documents need to be discovered by the respondent.

Opposed Divorce

OPPOSED DIVORCE

A contested divorce consists of several stages and it is a lengthy process.

Summons

Services

Notice to Defend

Plea and Counterclaim

Reply to  counterclaim

Discovery

Pre-Trail

Trail

Judgment

These are all the essential processes in an opposed divorce and hence why same can take several years to finalise. This is the most expensive form of Divorce.

Unopposed Divorce



The divorce process in South Africa is fairly straightforward, but it can have profound financial and emotional implications.

An action for divorce shall be initiated by issuing a summons. You may divorce either at the Magistrate Court District Court, which has jurisdiction over your region or at the High Court. You need to issue a Summons to begin the divorce process. A divorce summons must personally be on the defendant by the sheriff.

There are usually two forms of divorces, the divorce being opposed or unopposed. An unoppsed  divorce easier and the more cost-effective for the parties. An unopposed divorce can be finalised within 4 weeks where as an opposed divorce can take years to finalise.

UNOPPOESED DIVORCE

Unopposed divorce is the quickest and most cost effective way to get divorces. An unopposed divorce is when you and your partner work together and agree on the terms of the divorce by way of a settlement agreement. The settlement agreement contains the division of the assets, children’s primary residence, care and contact, maintenance and any other relevant information unique to your divorce. Both Parties must sign the settlement and same must also be endorsed by the family advocate if children are involved. On the day of the divorce there will be no formal trial and only one party will need to appear in court which is usually the Plaintiff in the divorce. The Plaintiff will be asked a serious of questions by their legal practitioner and if the court is satisfied that there is no prospects of restoring the marriage a divorce will be granted.



Divorce Process in South Africa

The divorce process in South Africa is fairly straightforward, but it can have profound financial and emotional implications.

An action for divorce shall be initiated by issuing a summons. You may divorce either at the Magistrate Court District Court, which has jurisdiction over your region or at the High Court. You need to issue a Summons to begin the divorce process. A divorce summons must personally be on the defendant by the sheriff.

There are usually two forms of divorces, the divorce being opposed or unopposed. An unoppsed  divorce easier and the more cost-effective for the parties. An unopposed divorce can be finalised within 4 weeks where as an opposed divorce can take years to finalise.

UNOPPOESED DIVORCE

Unopposed divorce is the quickest and most cost effective way to get divorces. An unopposed divorce is when you and your partner work together and agree on the terms of the divorce by way of a settlement agreement. The settlement agreement contains the division of the assets, children’s primary residence, care and contact, maintenance and any other relevant information unique to your divorce. Both Parties must sign the settlement and same must also be endorsed by the family advocate if children are involved. On the day of the divorce there will be no formal trial and only one party will need to appear in court which is usually the Plaintiff in the divorce. The Plaintiff will be asked a serious of questions by their legal practitioner and if the court is satisfied that there is no prospects of restoring the marriage a divorce will be granted.

CONTESTED DIVORCE

A contested divorce consists of several stages and it is a lengthy process.

Summons

Services

Notice to Defend

Plea and Counterclaim

Reply to  counterclaim

Discovery

Pre-Trail

Trail

Judgment

These are all the essential processes in an opposed divorce and hence why same can take several years to finalise. This is the most expensive form of Divorce.

DEFAULT DIVORCE

A default divorce is similar to an unopposed divorce. When you serve a divorce summons on your partner and he / she does not respond, a court must grant a divorce by default in terms of the served summons delivered to the Defendant