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Can you claim pregnancy-related expenses from your child’s other parent?

Yes! Both parents of a child have an obligation to pay for pregnancy-related expenses, which are called lying-in expenses, pro-rata according to their means.

The Maintenance Act states that the Court may make an order for payment to the child’s mother of an amount, together with interest thereon, which, in the opinion of the court, she is entitled to recover in connection with the:-

1. Birth of the child; and

2. Maintenance of the child from the date of birth to the date of the application.

An inquiry will be held to determine whether the expenses claimed by the mother are reasonable and necessary.

Furthermore, the amounts claimed by the mother will have to be proven during the inquiry. This can be done by submitting all the receipts, invoices, and proof of payments for the expenses that have already been incurred. It is therefore essential for mothers to keep these documents during the pregnancy.

Application for lying-in expenses is made after the child is born, and can be combined with an application for future monthly child maintenance. Such an application is lodged with the Maintenance Court in the area where the mother of the child resides or works.

What would lying-in expenses include?

Lying-in expenses include costs incurred before, during, and immediately after the child's birth.

These expenses are meant to contribute to the reasonable costs that a mother has while pregnant and preparing for the birth of the baby as well as the direct costs incurred directly after the birth.

These costs normally include things like:-

  1. Doctor’s appointments and medical care before and after the birth;

  2. Hospitalisation;

  3. Reasonable and necessary items required during maternity, such as vitamins prescribed by a doctor; and

  4. Baby-related items are required directly after birth.

Contact our professionals at 041 363 6044 or for sound legal advice.

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This article is not intended to constitute legal advice and is produced for information purposes only and to provide a general understanding of the legal position relating to the topic. It is recommended that advice relating to the specific circumstances of your situation be sought from our attorneys before acting upon the content of this article. This article was written at a particular point in time and accordingly may not always reflect the most recent legal developments, if any, applicable to the relevant topic. Kaplan Blumberg and its partners and/or employees, are not responsible for any consequences which may follow upon any decision taken to act upon the information provided in this article.

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