A minor child is entitled to reasonable maintenance from both parents to provide for the needs of the child, including but not limited to food, clothing, housing, education and medical care.

Maintenance for a minor child is the responsibility of both parents, regardless of whether the parents are unmarried, married or divorced. An Application for maintenance or variation of maintenance on behalf of a minor child, can be brought by either parent at any time. The Application is brought to the relevant Magistrates Court for obtaining a new maintenance order or for a variation/rescission of an existing order.

Parties should take note that non-compliance with a maintenance order is a criminal offence. Should one party not have the means to comply with an existing maintenance order, the onus rests with that party to apply for a variation or rescission order, as the case may be. Failure to act timorously may cause arrear maintenance which in turn can result in execution steps against the defaulting party and/or imprisonment.

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