Unfortunately, partly due to a lack of information and education, there are many myths and misconceptions surrounding divorce and maintenance. These untruths can be incredibly harmful as they can cause people to make uninformed decisions that could end up greatly impacting their children’s lives.
As family law professionals in South Africa, the team at the Law Offices of Karen Olivier is here to debunk some of the most common child maintenance myths and provide you with the truth so that you are aware of your rights.
Myth 1: Maintenance is a fixed Amount That Cannot Be Altered After Divorce
This is one of the biggest child maintenance misconceptions out there. Maintenance needs to be viewed as a fluid amount that can easily change based on the circumstances of both the parents and the child. Any changes to financial circumstances, including the loss of a job or a huge promotion, may affect the maintenance amount. The only exception is if you have a divorce order that stipulates that changes to the amount may not occur.
Myth 2: Children Only Need to be Supported Until They Are 18
In South Africa, most parents support their children up until their early 20s. Most children still need help when it comes to the many costs associated with university and finding their feet financially. This is why maintenance needs to be paid until the child is self-supporting and not just up until the child is 18.
Myth 3: Contact Can Be Denied to Parents Who Do Not Pay Maintenance
Many parents withhold contact from their child’s other parent in an attempt to force them to pay for their child’s maintenance. But this is unlawful and could damage the relationship between your child and their other parent. Child maintenance and contact, previously known as access, are two completely different legal issues and need to be dealt with separately.
Are you looking for trusted family law professionals in Durban? Here at the Law Offices of Karen Olivier, we ensure that your voice is heard! If you’d like to set up an appointment with us, please don’t hesitate to contact our team today! We look forward to hearing from you.