A parent with a minor child has the following rights:

1.    Generally, in RSA: Section 6 of the Maintenance Act 99, 1988 provides that whenever a complaint is made that a person liable to maintain another has failed to do so, and such complaint is lodged with the Maintenance Officer, the Officer shall investigate that complaint as provided in the Act. After investigating the complaint, the Officer may institute an enquiry in the Maintenance Court within the area of jurisdiction in which the person to be maintained resides, with a view to enquiring into the provision of maintenance for that person.

Section 23 of the Act provides that the Maintenance Officer may direct the Clerk of a Court where a Maintenance Order was made, to transmit the Order to the Clerk of the Maintenance Court within the area of jurisdiction in which the person in whose favour the maintenance Order was made, resides. On receipt of the Order, the Clerk of the Court shall register such Order in the prescribed manner.


2.    When the person against whom maintenance is claim resides outside RSA: The Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders Act 80, 1063 provides that whenever a certified copy of a Maintenance Order against any person by any Court in a proclaimed country is transmitted to the Minister through diplomatic channels by any authority of such proclaimed country, the Minister shall transmit a copy of the Order to a Maintenance Court, and the Order shall then be registered by that Court in the prescribed manner.


3.    When the complainant resides outside RSA: Section 4 of the Act provides that upon receipt of a certified copy of a Provisional Maintenance Order made by a Court in a proclaimed country together with dispositions of witnesses and a statement of grounds on which the Order might have been opposed, the Minister shall transmit the documents concerned to the Maintenance Officer of the relevant Maintenance Court, whereupon such Officer shall institute an enquiry in such Court with a view to confirmation of such Order, and may cause for that purpose any person, including any person liable to maintain another, to be summoned to appear before such Court and give evidence, produce any document or statement, including a statement giving full particulars of earnings signed by an employer.


4.    Points to keep in mind: a parent of a minor child may claim maintenance from the deceased estate of a deceased parent and, as a matter of interest, any payment made for the maintenance of a minor child is not taxable.


Author:    Skye Forsyth (Associate) (Litigation & Matrimonial Department) (PMB Office)
Tel:      033 341 9100