When a person who is legally liable to pay maintenance towards a minor child has not been meeting his or her obligations, an application can be brought for the enforcement of arrear maintenance.

A Maintenance Officer may make an order which compels the person liable to pay such maintenance in a particular manner and to pay arrear maintenance.

The complainant may apply to the maintenance court where the respondent is resident for:

  • authorisation to issue a warrant of execution;
  • an order for the attachment of emoluments (garnishee order); or
  • an order for the attachment of debt.

Furthermore, the Maintenance Officer may attach annuities, provident funds and similar in order to pay for maintenance.

If an order to pay maintenance is already in place, failure to make such payment is contempt of a court order, which is a criminal offence. It is possible to have a writ of execution issued whereby the non-paying parent’s movable assets are attached and in terms of the Maintenance Amendment Act 9 of 2015, the non-paying parent may be reported to the credit bureau, where after he or she will be blacklisted.

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Author – Jessica Gooding

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