Shirné Grobler obtained her BComm (LLB) degree from the University of Stellenbosch and completed her articles at STBB. Following her admission to the High Court of South Africa as an Attorney and Notary Public, she joined STBB's Family Law department in Cape Town as an Associate.

Thought of the Week | Harder times for maintenance defaulters

On 5 January 2018 certain important amendments to the Maintenance Act became operational. These sections introduce stricter measures against maintenance defaulters.

One of the amendments authorises the courts to direct electronic communications service providers, such as Vodacom, MTN, Cell C or Telkom, to furnish the courts with the contact information of the maintenance defaulter where the person cannot be located. In addition, if the complainant (the person applying to court on the basis that a maintenance payment was overdue) cannot afford the cost of the application to the service provider, the costs may be funded by the State. The court may also order the defaulter to refund such costs to the State.

Furthermore, it is now possible for the maintenance officer to furnish the defaulter’s personal particulars to credit bureaus in order for the defaulter to be blacklisted.

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