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Maintenance is the obligation to provide another person, (for example a minor), with food, housing, clothing, medical care and education, or with means that are necessary for providing the person with these essentials. This is a legal duty and also called 'the duty to maintain' or 'the duty to support'.
Links courtesy of the South African Government Services
Application for a maintenance order
Who must provide maintenance?
The duty to maintain is based on blood relationship, adoption, or the fact that the parties are married to each other.
A child must be supported or maintained by:
- his or her parents, whether married, living together, separated or divorced, including parents who have adopted the child; and/or
- his or her grandparents, whether or not the child's parents were married to each other. However, this varies from one case to another.
The duty to support a family member is not limited to supporting a child. Any family member, irrespective of his or her age, can ask any family member to support or maintain him or her, provided that the following two conditions are met: