I need to apply for maintenance, what are the steps that I need to take?
Types of Maintenance
- Spousal Maintenance;
- Child Maintenance;
- Rehabilitative maintenance - this is maintenance awarded to a divorcing woman for a limited time while she trains for a job or profession.
How to apply for Maintenance
- Approach the magistrate’s court in the district in which you live and fill out a “J101” form together with proof of your monthly expenses;
- A date will be set on which you and the person whom you wish to pay maintenance (the “respondent”) must go to court;
- A maintenance officer and an investigator will be appointed to investigate your claim and your circumstances;
- The court will serve a summons instructing the respondent to appear in court to discuss the matter;
- If the respondent agrees to pay the maintenance as claimed, the magistrate will make an order for this amount to be paid;
- If the respondent does not agree to pay the maintenance, he/she must appear in court and evidence from both parties and their witnesses will be heard;
- If the court finds that the respondent is liable to pay maintenance, it will make an order for the amount to be paid. The court will also determine when and how these payments must be made.
Termination of Maintenance
- Spousal maintenance can continue for any period which the court deems just, including up until the death or remarriage of the person being maintained, whichever occurs first.
- Child maintenance continues up until the child becomes self-supporting and not once the child turns eighteen years of age. This means that maintenance can continue while the child studies further after becoming a major.