Orders preventing economic abuse can be granted by the Domestic Violence Court by way of an application. These orders can, amongst other, prevent a party from withholding any necessary expenses such as money for food, rent, clothing or stopping any insurance or medical aid payments.
This can be instituted by way of Rule 43 or Rule 58, and will subsist until the divorce is finalised. These applications can be very comprehensive, and can include legal fees, any expenses or even residency (custody) of minor children. These applications can only be instituted after a divorce process has been initiated. If there is any requirements as to maintenance after, before, or in terms of unmarried parents, there are other processes that can be followed.
After divorce proceedings or in the event of unmarried parties
People and their needs change. Dismissals and retrenchments are unfortunate and unplanned realities, or perhaps the company has informed you that the budget is tight and they cannot afford increases or bonuses. This presents a problem in terms of a maintenance order that was granted after a divorce. Fortunately enough, the Maintenance Court can be approached any time after your divorce to make amendments regarding any matters pertaining to maintenance. This includes both reducing and increasing as well as obtaining Orders to obtain outstanding maintenance.
If a person fails to pay maintenance, that person is committing a criminal offence, and failure to pay so due to inability (loss of income) is not an excuse if a person did not approach the court to amend their Order. A person must approach an attorney immediately when there has been a change of circumstance to ensure that they remain compliant with their obligations.
This court is also particularly relevant to parties who have a child together, but were never married, and where the mother or father requires maintenance for their minor child/ren. Conditions exist where a parent can further obtain necessary maintenance from the other parents, grandparents, should the other parent not contribute.