Posted by: Anon | 2011/05/25

Calculate Maintenance

Hi There

If anyone has been in this situation - advice is needed.

How does the court calculate maintenance for a child when the mother is unemployed. Umeployed mother is applying for maintenance and has not been employed for 5yrs?

Please respond those who know what the procedure is

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFamily law expert

Essentially, child maintenance is calculated as a percentage of each parents income divided proportionately to meet the children’s needs.

Lets us use an example of a woman who is the primary caregiver of 2 children earning R10 000/month and a father who earns R15 000 per month.

The children’s needs are taken into account as a percentage of the total household expenditure divided proportionately. 2/3 of the rent, 2/3 of the food cost, 2/3 of the cleaning cost etc.

Let us assume that the total cost of living in the mother's home is R9 000. That amount would be two thirds apportioned to the children giving a total of R6 000.

Then we take the both parents income, add it together and then divide the individual parents income by the total to give a proportion of the children’s costs to be paid by each parent.

In this example the mother or custodial parent would be responsible for 40% of the children's costs and the father 60%.

The maintenance order would be made against the father, who would now be responsible to pay R3 600 in maintenance to the children’s mother. The method of payment, be it by deposit into an account or payment of certain things like medical aid etc, will be specified along with the date it is due.

Bertus Preller
B.Proc; AD Dip L Law
Family Law Attorney
Abrahams and Gross Inc.
A:1st Floor, 56 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town, 8000
O: +27 (0) 21 422 1323

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