How do I calculate the monthly expenses for both me and my children?


First look at what the average monthly expenditure is which is paid by you, and work out which of these monthly expenses are shared expenses (for the benefit of both you and your children eg. rent, groceries), your expenses (for the benefit of you only) and direct child expenses (for the benefit of the child(ren) only eg. nappies, toys, school fees). You will then need to fill in a schedule of monthly income and expenses under the separate columns for yourself and for each child with the amount of your monthly expenses on this basis. Expenses which are for the benefit of you only or the child only have the total amount filled in under the column for you or the child. Make sure to distinguish the different monthly expenses between each child (eg. nappies only in the column for the child needing those nappies, or the amount of school fees differing between two children based on which grade they are in). Shared expenses between you and the children are calculated on a basis of 2 parts per adult and 1 part per child (eg. ratio of 2:1 for one child, 2:1:1 for two children, 2:1:1:1 for three children etc.). To calculate the individual amounts to fill in under each column: take the monthly expense and divide it by the total for the relevant ratio (eg. 2:1 = 2+1  = 3 whereas 2:1:1 = 2+1+1 = 4), and then multiply that result by each individual ratio amount (ie. multiply by 2 for you as an adult and by 1 for a child).

For example, if rent is R12 000.00 per month and there is:

Note: It is important to keep a separate list of any monthly expenses being paid by the other person or maintenance contributions (eg. if they pay all or part of the school fees, medical expenses etc. or where they are already paying a monetary amount in maintenance) as the total amount of maintenance for each child should take into account what the total monthly expenses for both parties are for that child in calculating their pro rata share so that the amount of monetary maintenance can be determined.

For example, if the monthly expenses for the child which are paid by you are  R12 000.00 per month and the other person pays directly educational and medical expenses in an amount of R6 000.00 per month, then the total monthly expense for the child is R18 000.00. If the other person’s income is double what yours is, they would then be liable for a pro rata share of R12 000.00 total in child maintenance. You would be liable for your pro rata share of R6 000.00.

If the other person is to continue to pay the educational and medical expenses of R6 000.00 per month directly (and not to yourself), then a monetary amount of R6 000.00 per month is the total amount that they are liable to pay in maintenance to you to meet the child’s monthly expenses. Note that only contributions which are paid directly and which are not paid directly to you can be used to reduce the amount of monetary maintenance.


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