How to Calculate Maintenance for a Child


In order to be eligible to claim for maintenance on a child’s behalf, it is paramount that the claimant first determine the reasonable needs of the child on a month-to-month basis.



There is no absolute rule in this regard, however, in general terms, the child’s share of the common household expenses is determined by allocating one division per child and two divisions per adult or major child.



Below is an example of the calculation in a household wherein there is one adult and two children in the home. In the below example, each child will be allocated 25% percent of the total expense shared by the three members of the household.


25% for Child 1 + 25% for Child 2 + 50% for Adult = 100% of household expense.



Once the parent claiming maintenance has ascertained what the reasonable monthly needs of the child are, will one be able to calculate the contribution that each parent is required to make to meet the needs of the child.

The formula used in practice to calculate the contribution is as follows:

Claiming Parent’s Gross Income


Child’s Needs





Total Gross Income of Both Parents









The Money

It is important to remember that maintenance cannot be measured in money alone. Usually the parent whom has primary residence of the child or cares for the child on a daily basis directly contributes to the maintenance of the child in terms other than money; despite this the child is still entitled to financial support from both parents in accordance with their means.

Either parent can apply to the maintenance court wherein the child resides for a maintenance order or a variation thereof only if there is a change of circumstances. It was decided in previous court cases that where a father remarries and then has to support a "second" family, this financial obligation should not impact negatively on his "first" family. A father may not raise a defence that the needs of his second wife is a reason to reduce maintenance in respect of the children of his first wife.


If you have any maintenance enquiries or need assistance with a maintenance matter, feel free to contact us and we will assist you your maintenance matter.