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  • Writer's pictureKaplan Blumberg

How do I increase or decrease my child’s maintenance contribution?

A maintenance order may be varied, suspended, or rescinded, by the Maintenance Court in the area in which the child resides. The Maintenance Court will only grant an increase or decrease of the maintenance payable, should the court find sufficient reason to do so. When considering “sufficient reason”, the court often refers to the term “good cause”.

There are certain factors that the court will consider when determining whether good cause to vary the current maintenance order exists. The paramount consideration of the court will be the best interest of the minor/dependent child.

Section 15(2) of the Maintenance Act defines the child's need as that which a child reasonably requires for his/her proper living and upbringing, and includes food, clothing, accommodation, education, and medical care. Once the court has established the need of the child, it will consider the ability of each parent to contribute to such requirements. Accordingly, the parents must fully disclose their financial position to the court which includes full particulars of their income and assets. In order to fulfill their obligation to support their children, parents must use their income and, if necessary, their capital.

It is important to remember that each parent has a common law duty to maintain his/her child pro rata to his/her income, to ensure that the child’s needs are sufficiently met. It is furthermore trite law that the maintenance of the child will always receive preference above any other expenses that a parent may have.

Should you require assistance in this regard, please do not hesitate to contact our family law specialists.

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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