When do I stop paying maintenance?
Usually till the day the child is self-supporting both parents have a duty to pay maintenance. Even if the child becomes an adult it might happen that the child is still studying or looking for employment. In such a scenario the child may still claim maintenance from both parents. Once the child becomes sell-supporting the parents may stop maintenance by setting aside the child maintenance order if there is one in place.
If I am unemployed; am I still liable to pay maintenance?
The short answer is yes. Both parents still need to maintain their child(ren) according to their means. To deliberately go unemployed will not free you from your maintenance obligations. The parents’ duty of support is not dependent on employment status.
What factors must be considered when determining Child Support?
Again, there is no clear fixed formula to determine a child support amount, but the following may be considered:
• Income of Both Parents:
The income of both parents are taken into consideration. Also, the amount a parent is able to earn is considered – that is, if an attorney in his 40s is lying on the beach all day instead of working, she or he may 9 still owe child support even with no income. A related factor is how much other income each parent receives. For example, parents may earn interest or other investment income.
• Income and needs of Custodial Parent:
The parent that has custody of the parent requires more support since they have main custody of the child and will incur more expenses to take care of the child. If the custodial parent makes less money than the non-custodial parent, they will receive a much more larger child custody payment to cover the expenses needed.
• Family structure – that is, how many children are involved.
Obviously, more kids mean more money There is the factor of how much time each parent spends with their children – in this case, more time spent with kids usually means less money owed to the other parent for child support.
• Age and status of the child:
Depending on the child support agreement, the child support may end at some point in the child’s life. Some agreements will allow the parents to cut off support when the child reaches the age of majority. Others will require that the children graduate from University or Technikon or that the children become married before the support can be terminated.
• Child’s Standard of Living Before Divorce or Separation:
The courts also look at the needs and standard of living for the child before the divorce. The courts main intent is to ensure that the child receives the same type of living after the divorce and the separation does not impact the child in a major way.
• The Parent’s Ability to Pay:
The court ensures that the child support payments are fair and proportional to the parent’s income. If the paying parent cannot afford to pay the child support, the court allows the parent to modify the child support payment.
• What are the reasonable monthly needs of the child?
The main factor that is determined is the need and expenses of the child to live a standard life. This includes the child’ health insurance, education expenses, day care, food, rent, and special needs.