Shirné Grobler obtained both her BComm (Law) and LLB degrees from the University of Stellenbosch. She is an admitted Attorney, Notary Public and Conveyancer and an attorney with right of appearance in the High Court of South Africa. She works in STBB’s Cape Town litigation department as a Director, specializing in Family and Divorce Law, deceased estate litigation and general litigation.

Thought of the Week | Addressing Maintenance in Arrears

If you have a maintenance claim in terms of your Divorce Order, you can still enforce the Order. Furthermore, you can bring an application for the recovery of the arrear maintenance due to you.

In order to recover the arrear maintenance, it is possible to have a writ of execution issued whereby the defaulting party’s movable assets are attached and sold in execution. Most assets can be attached, including any debt which is owing to the defaulting party. It is also possible, under certain circumstances, to apply for an emolument attachment order in terms of which the defaulting party’s employer is ordered to pay the monthly maintenance to you by deducting it from the defaulting party’s salary. Lastly, it is now also possible to have the defaulting party reported to the credit bureau and blacklisted.

If the defaulting party is intentionally and wrongfully failing to pay maintenance, it is possible to lay a criminal charge. The defaulting party may then be prosecuted and convicted of a criminal offence. Possible sentences include a fine or imprisonment of up to one year, or both.

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