How do you apply for maintenance?

  • Phone your nearest Court to find out which court you should go to for maintenance

Phone the Maintenance Court and confirm what documents you need to bring for your application. The following documents are usually required:

  • Identity Document
  • Identity number of person who is responsible to pay for maintenance
  • Bank statements if you have a bank account
  • List of the child/ children’s expenses
  • Documents to prove these expenses e.g. water and lights account, grocery slips, clothing accounts.
  • Contact details of the person who needs to pay maintenance such as their work address/residential address
  • Any details of their close family relatives who they are in contact with
  • Court order (if you already have one)
  • Divorce Agreement

Go to court and complete an application form (click here to download Form A)

  • The court will provide you with a date when you need to come back. The other parent will also have to appear.
  • If the parent does not come to court ask the court to issue a subpoena to get the person to appear at court on a specific date.
  • You will receive a file number.

Always use this file number whenever you make enquiries.
Make sure you get the method of payment to be recorded on the court order.

Methods of payment

Maintenance can be collected in the following ways:

  • GARNISHEE ORDER – the company where the person works takes money directly from their salary and pays it into the COURTS bank account.
  • CASH PAYMENT – you collect the money over the counter at COURT
  • DIRECT PAYMENT into your bank account

The best way to collect MAINTENANCE is the direct deposit method.

The advantages are:

  • No travelling to court
  • No transport cost
  • No standing in long queues, and no time lost from work

Download and Print Forms

Form A – Application for Maintenance
Form B – Substitution or Discharge of Existing Maintenance Order
Form G – Consent and Maintenance Order
Form I – Variation of Maintenance Order
Form K – Enforcement of Maintenance Orders
Form Q – Failure to Comply with a Maintenance Order

Maintenance Orders – Foreign Countries

This applies where one of the parties lives in another country, which shares an agreement with South Africa for the enforcement of maintenance orders.
What is a proclaimed country or territory? 
  • Some countries have a special arrangement with South Africa, so that maintenance orders granted in each country can be enforced in the other country.
  • A country that belongs to this agreement is called a proclaimed or designated country.
South Africa has reciprocal enforcement agreements with the following countries and states:
  • Australia – Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, State of Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, State of Victoria, Western Australia
  • Botswana
  • Canada – Alberta, British Columbia, Province of Manitoba, North West Territories, Province of Ontario
  • Cocoa (Keeling) Islands
  • Cyprus
  • Fiji
  • Germany
  • Guernsey (Bailiwick of)
  • Hong Kong
  • Isle of Jersey
  • Isle of Man
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Mauritius
  • Namibia
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Norfolk Island
  • Sarawak
  • Singapore
  • St Helena
  • Swaziland
  • United Kingdom – England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales
  • United States of America – California, Florida
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe
It takes approximately 12 months for an order to be registered in proclaimed countries.
In order to enforce a Maintenance Order in a country that has an arrangement with South Africa, the following documentation must be submitted to:
The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development
Private Bag X81, Pretoria, 0001
Office of the DG
Chief Directorate: International Legal Relations
Documentation required: 
The following documentation is required in respect of the proclaimed countries and territories:
a) Four certified copies of the provisional court order.
b) An affidavit by the complainant or an officer of the court as to the amount of arrears due under the order, four certified copies.
c) The deposition affidavit or evidence of the complainant, four certified copies.
d) Certified birth certificate(s) of the child or children.
e) The marriage certificate (if applicable), certified.
f ) A photograph and description of the defendant.
g) The exhibits referred to in the complainant’s deposition, affidavit or evidence duly endorsed as prescribed above, if any.
h) Four certified copies of the order of court.
i) Physical, residential and/or working address of the defendant in the proclaimed country.