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Question
Posted by: Inky | 2005/07/07

Scared+NotSure

I sued my ex-boyfriend for maintenance(in January) and I was fired up and wanted to do it. Summons were served and we were informed to go to the enquiry on July 12. He called me just to let me know the amount I asked for is way too high for an 18-mth old (R2500), which I told him my calculations for the kid come to R6000pm. We didn't argue or anything but eversince that call I'm so nervous and scared of going through this whole thing. It's stressing me like you would never believe. I dream about it(that is if I manage to sleep at all). I've got this fear he's just gonna go there humiliate and outsmart me and all. Please help me coz where I'm standing I'm ready to call this whole thing off. Problem: I need the money.Thanks to the arrival of the baby I'm in +-R10000 in the RED with the banks - all of them, and it keeps getting worse and worse...
This thing is really getting to me - I thought I was ready for it but now I've got a phobia.

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Our expert says:
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The process is supposed to try to be fair. R 6000 a month to provide for a kid of 18 months does sound rather steep. Your debt may or may not be relevant --- if you can show that it is things like obstetric and hospital costs, they may be considered, if it is debt based on your own expenditure, probably not. Seek legal advice, many firms offer at least a free first 30 minutes ; and a university law clinic might help, too. Make sure you sort out all the paperwork to show that the debt is all baby-related expenses. It sounds like some of the extra expense could come from feeding the nanny, rather than the infant/

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Inky | 2005/07/07

Male23,

Believe you me all this debt I incurred because of the baby. Overdraft, 2 Credit cards all gone towards upkeep of the baby(baby stuff) + her live-in nanny. I don't have to explain how costly an extra plate on the table is + general maintenance. My grocery budget has doubled + half. Things that used to last for 3 weeks vanish within a week.
I got hold of the income/expenditure form somehow and I went thru the whole excercise and it came up to a shocking R10k p.m expenditure. I only take home R6500. Then can you explain how do I do without the diference??.
My fear is soon I won't have the credid cards to comeup with the difference and then what? I won't even be able to repay the banks.

Reply to Inky
Posted by: lulu | 2005/07/07

As a rule of thumb, he has to contribute between 25 and 30% of his NETT salary. If he earns R6000 after Tax, medical aid and pension, he has to give you between R1500 and R2000 for maintenance. If your baby is on his medical aid, of course the cash portion will be less.

R2500 is not unreasonable. Just make sure you have all your duckies in a row on the 12th and you'll be just fine. Don't hide anything and take all the proof of payments towards your baby's upkeep. Rather go with too much docs than too little.

Don't let him intimidate you and don't back down, whatever you do. I can give you the name and number of the professor who wrote a book on the SA Maintenance Law. Her and her husband's advice (both retired lawyers) was what made me win my maintenance case a few months ago. Mail me at luluj at magicmail dot co dot za if you're interested.

Reply to lulu
Posted by: Male23 | 2005/07/07

But please do let us know of the outcome! Good Luck Inky!

Reply to Male23
Posted by: Lorraine | 2005/07/07

Inky, i went through EXACTLY that! Just stand strong and dont withdraw. he CANT embarrace u in front of anyone - judge wont allow it. And i know how much an 18 month old baby costs. R2500 is just fine. Just carry through. Holding thumbs for u! (ps. i think it is quite normal for u to feel this way as all the friends i know that went through the same thing, had the same feelings especially at the last minute)

Reply to Lorraine
Posted by: lerita | 2005/07/07

I agree with male 23 you must get legal advice. Discuss a fee with him and also ask the court if the legal fees will be awared to the father. Ask for an automatic increase each year in maintenance

Reply to lerita
Posted by: Just | 2005/07/07

Don't withdraw ! Facts are facts, a list of expenses with proof are facts, be accurate and what can they say... the truth will do the job.

Good luck.

Reply to Just
Posted by: Star | 2005/07/07

Good luck, stay strong. Pull through for your baby.

Reply to Star
Posted by: Male23 | 2005/07/07

Inky, my opinion on this is as follow: If he is the father of your child, i feel he must pay maintenance. But JUST his half of it. The debt you've got at the bank got nothing to do with the maintenance of the child.

Maintenance in South Africa is relatively simple - in theory at least! Take the actual costs of raising a child and split it between the parents according to what they earn. So, if the child costs, say R2000 a month to raise, and father earns R6000 a month and Mom earns R4000, the father pays 60% and mom 40% of the monthly expenses.

The practice is a little more difficult. Firstly, we are often faced with men denying paternity which can of course be proved, relatively inexpensively, by DNA tests. Then we have to prove what the actual, reasonable costs are - and what is reasonable depends on factors such as the background of the child's parents etc. Then the second exercise is working out what each parent earns - not always easy when people hide their finances behind various entities and various bank accounts etc. Of course, if the person is employed bly a large, reputable firm its relatively easy to subpoena all the records and get the real earnings. With smaller comapnies, and people who are prepared to lie, it can be more difficult.

Its a process that is best handled by attorneys who understand the various ploys used to try and avoid paying a fair amount and how to combat them with various legal processes.


If you need help call Yolanda at (011) 788-7273 to arrange an appointment or e-mail us at mailATonlinelawDOTcoDOTza


Reply to Male23

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