How do I calculate maintenance for my child?
Every parent is responsible for the maintenance needs of their children. These needs are however, the REASONABLE needs of the child.
One calculates the child’s share to the common household as one part per child and two parts per adult.
To put it in simple terms we use the following formula:
Parents gross income Childs Needs
______________________ X __________________
Total gross income of both parents 1
= the parents contribution toward maintenance.
One parent can apply to the Maintenance Court for a change in the order once there is a change in income of either of the parents.
This process is free and highly recommended, especially after a costly divorce where one parent wants to vary the court order made due to change of circumstance.
The Maintenance Court is a faster and cheaper option as opposed to the costly and lengthy wait for a High Court order variation. It also has jurisdiction in the following areas:
- Setting aside an existing maintenance order;
- Make a new maintenance order;
- Decreasing a current order;
- Amending a current order, or
- Changing an existing order.
It is to be noted that Grandparents and other family members can, as a substitute, also be ordered to pay maintenance for the child if one of the parents cannot.
The reasonable needs of the child are calculated by looking at:
- The child’s previous lifestyle;
- The child’s parents income;
- The child’s parents financial abilities to pay maintenance; and
- The child’s health and specific educational needs.
It therefore goes without saying that every child’s needs have to be decided upon on a case by case basis.
If you need any assistance or legal advice contact us at Charmaine@schwenninc.co.za or call us on 0310030630.