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Parents responsible for maintaining children

In terms of the Children’s Act, both parents have an obligation to maintain their child until such a time as the child can support themselves.

According to Dino Montepara, from Malherbe, Rigg and Ranwell Attorneys, when determining a maintenance order the court will look at two things.
“Firstly they will look at the needs of the child; this includes clothing, medical expenses, schooling, housing and food.
“Secondly they will look at the ability of the parents to pay for the child’s needs.”
Simply put, whoever earns more may pay more.
“The parents can then decide if the maintenance will be paid in full in cash or partly in cash and partly paid towards the child’s needs,” said Montepara.
He added that if the parent responsible for paying maintenance defaults on the payment, the other parent would need to go to the maintenance court, in the area where the child resides, and make an application for maintenance.
“The parent responsible for paying maintenance will then be subpoenaed to appear in court and an enquiry will take place.
“The parents will then be able to either settle on a maintenance amount or the court will assess the situation and make a maintenance order,” he said.
Montepara added that if after this, the parent still defaults on payments, one of three things may happen.
“Either the sheriff of the court will attach the parent’s assets, to be sold to settle the maintenance arrears, the parent will have a garnishee order where the maintenance will automatically be deducted from their salary or the parent will face criminal charges and if convicted could face prison.”
He said that even though maintenance is payable until the child can support themselves, if the parent defaults after the child has turned 18, the child will then need to sue for maintenance.

In our previous article we asked moms what difficulties they experienced during breastfeeding.
This is what they had to say:
Dimakatso Dali Mokoena: Holding the baby to a right position and my nipples were painful at first but I got used to it.

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