Parents struggling to get their monthly maintenance money will be happy to know that there will be more legal consequences for payment defaulters.

On Friday, 12 January 2018, updated amendments to the Maintenance Amendment Act will come into effect. The new law will make it difficult for habitual child maintenance defaulters to access any form of credit.  In essence, continuous refusal or neglecting to pay will result in a credit record blacklisting.

What’s more, the updated amendment will make it easier for payment dodgers to be tracked since maintenance officers will be allowed to use cell phone service providers to assist them in monitoring defaulters.

Other legal consequences of defaulting on child maintenance payments include:

  • courts can impose a three-year prison sentence (without the option of paying a fine) on habitual defaulters
  • defaulters do not have to be present in court for the court to grant a court order
  • maintenance beneficiaries will be allowed to submit applications in areas where they work and not only where they and their children reside.

From a legal perspective, this is an excellent start to 2018 for parents who want to feel supported and empowered by the law.  Raising a child is no walk in the park, and usually requires a strong support system.

“Remember, defaulting on child maintenance is a criminal offence, and those who are responsible for maintenance payments do have the option of approaching the Maintenance Court and applying for a reduced monthly payment if they cannot afford the initial amount,” maintains Adv. Jackie Nagtegaal, LAW FOR ALL’s Managing Director.

For more insight and information on how to claim Child Maintenance, have a look at the LAW FOR ALL Child Maintenance Infographic.