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WCLawyer, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 15603
Experience:  L.LB (UOVS)
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Hi there, I have a question, my fiances ex-wife is asking

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Hi there,

I have a question, my fiances ex-wife is asking for money for their child. He already pays well over what he should pay in terms of schooling, maintenance and medical aid. She has threatend to take him to court to disclose his income. Is there any chance he would be told to pay more because he earns a good salary?

Many thanks Megan
Good day.

The South African the common law with regards XXXXX XXXXX maintenance of children require that each parent support their children proportionate to their means. This basically means that, establishing the amount of maintenance that a parent is liable for, should be established following a three pronged process.

(a). Firstly, the needs of the child estate be established. This will typically include a roof over his head, food, schooling, medical costs etc. A child, that is used to a certain standard of living, can be expected to maintain that standard insofar as his parents can afford it. Note that, in this section, the personal expenses of the custodian parent should not be factored in. For instance, if they are to children that needs to be maintained and the rent of the house that they are living in is for instance, R 3000, it needs to be established which portion of that R3000 is for the custodian parent personally. Typically, assuming there are two children and one noncustodial parent, the amount of R 3000 will be divided into three and the R2000 that is left will be divided between the two parents as per the calculation in paragraph 2 below.

(b). Once the amount of maintenance has been established, you need to establish which part of that amount each parent is liable for. This is done right calculating the portion of a parent salary in comparison with the combined salary of both parents. For example; let's assume that the father earns R20,000 per month and the mother earns R10,000 per month. The father earns 66, 6% of the total combined salary and the mother earns 33, 3% of the total combined salary. Let's assume that the amount in 1. Equals R3000 per month. This would mean that the father would have to pay R2000 towards maintenance, and the mother needs to pay R1000 towards maintenance.

(c). The final step in establishing the amount of maintenance that a parent is liable for, would be affordability. The court will have a look at the finances of a parent to establish whether the parent can in fact afford, for instance, the R2000 in maintenance. You need to note, however, that the court will not allow the parent to maintain a luxurious lifestyle at the expense of the child. If the court find that the parent cannot afford the maintenance, the court will look whether the parent can exclude some luxurious expenses from his personal budget. If, after that, he still cannot afford the maintenance, the court will make some final adjustments to bring the amount of maintenance payable in line with what the parent can afford.

It is therefore clear from this that the exact amount of maintenance cannot be established in this forum and should be at least at the Maintenance Office. The are forms at the Maintenance Officer that is specifically designed to arrive at the correct amount of maintenance.

So, the amount of his salary is not the only thing the court considers. The amount of her salary and the actual needs of the children, given their reasonable standard of life, is also taken into consideration.

So, to answer your question, there is a chance that the maintenance may be increased. Unfortunately, with the information I have, I just cannot tell you how big a chance.

I hope this helps you a little bit, but if you have any further questions, feel free to ask them before you rate. It will not cost you anything extra. If you are satisfied with the answer, kindly click on one of the five faces on the ratings page. I don't get anything for this answer unless you do.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your answer. I So it is possible for the maintenance to increase? What about his new family? He also has responsibility to provide for his own home and his new baby.Would that not be taken into consideration at the court?


The ex lives with her mother and her boyfriend, she had an affair with whist married. Then left my fiance and he paid her out whatever money was due to her. She has demaned where the child goes to school (a private school) which he pays for. He pays for pretty much everything except his boarding. R4000 for school, R1750 maintenance and R725 for medical aid. Surely that should be more than sufficient?


Her grounds for extra money is so that she can rent a house for her and her boyfriend, and the child will then have his own room. The boyfriend also has 2 kids from a previous marriage which he sees every second weekend.


So if a person earns a million rand a month and the ex earns R10000 a month. The person will then have to support the ex? I just find the law to be quite unfair, in this case this women is trying to get more money to subsidize her own life style, and using the child as the exuse. Besides all the demands as to know where the child is at all times when visiting with the father is that legal? She does have sole custody.


Would suing for custody be an option in this case? That way the child would be financed without the mother benefiting.

1. It would most certainly be taken into account, especially in the final step pertaining to affordability.

2. If he cannot keep on paying for private school, our courts have ruled in the past that the child is then to go to public school. Remember that she is also supposed to contribute, proportional with her income.

3. You don't support the ex. You support the child. Only the needs of the child is considered. Not the needs of the mother. If the total household spend on food is, for instance, R 1 000, only R 500 will be included in the calculation as explained above.

4. You can apply for custody, but that is a whole different set of criteria that is to be used. The court will not give you custody because you no longer can or want to pay maintenance.
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