How is child maintenance divided up between us? Is it an equal split?
A common complaint is that the other person is not covering “their half”. The amount of child maintenance each person is liable to pay is not divided equally between them, but is calculated on a pro-rata (proportionate) share based on your respective incomes. For example: if two parents are liable for child maintenance and one parent earns twice as much income as the other then that parent should contribute twice as much as the other parent (ie. at a ratio of 2:1). If the total monthly maintenance for the child was R18 000.00, then the pro rata share of what the parent earning double should contribute towards maintenance will be a total amount of R12 000.00. The pro rata share of the other parent will be a total amount of R6 000.00.
Courts also take into consideration the other contributions already being made by any person. If one person is paying the school fees for example then this expense by that person needs to be taken into account as this payment saves the other person from an additional monthly expense.