The Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Act makes provision for the reciprocal enforcement of maintenance orders in the Republic and proclaimed foreign countries.

The Act differentiates between maintenance orders and provisional maintenance orders: a provisional maintenance order is effective only if it is confirmed by a competent court in the country in which the person against whom the order has been made resides.

In order for a maintenance order to be registered in a proclaimed country, a certified copy must be delivered in the prescribed manner to the Minister or a person acting under the Minister’s authority, who then delivers a copy of the order to a maintenance court. The court then registers the order.

A maintenance enquiry may be held in terms of the Maintenance Act in the absence of a person resident in a proclaimed country. The court holding the enquiry may only make a provisional maintenance order which will later have to be confirmed by the court in the proclaimed country and thereafter enforced.

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