How much child maintenance should I pay if unemployed?
There is no getting around the fact that maintaining a child is costly. When you factor in how much it costs to educate, to clothe and to feed a child, you can work out how the costs add up. For single parents this can be much more difficult. This situation can be avoided however, by getting assistance through child maintenance.
Even if the parents of a child separate due to various factors, the duty for a parent to take care of their child does not cease until the child becomes self-supporting. No matter what the circumstances, the non-custodial parent still has a duty to support the child.
Maintenance payments are essential to relieve the financial burden on the custodial parent.
How much child maintenance should I pay?
In South Africa, there is no fixed rate of child maintenance. Each case is unique.
The amount of money is ultimately decided on by the court, who will take into consideration the monthly earnings and income of both parents. The affordability of the parents will also be considered.
If unemployed, the court will make calculations of what the parents’ time and labour is worth and a maintenance amount will be decided according to this.
A court will look at the reasonable financial needs of the child.
The actual costs of raising a child are split between the parents in proportion to what they earn.
A Magistrate Court provides an income and expense form which has to be completed. The parent’s and child’s expenses are listed separately.
The court order should stipulate who pays school fees. Unless otherwise stipulated, it is usually the responsibility of the custodial parent to pay the school fees from the maintenance. The duration depends on a number of factors including the child’s education.
If you are asking yourself how much child maintenance should I pay if unemployed, you need to keep in mind that you can apply to the Magistrate Court for a valuation in the maintenance order at any time.