Do you still have to pay child maintenance when a child becomes 18?

In terms of the new Children’s Act, maintenance is payable until the age of 18 years. Before the new Children’s Act came into effect, maintenance was payable by the parent in respect of the minor child until the minor child was 21 years of age or self-supporting, whichever event should occur first.

The child self, after the age of 18, may claim further maintenance from BOTH parents for various reasons.
The court would however take into account whatever the reasonable expenses of the child are and the reasons.

So in actual fact a child above the age of 18 does in certain situations have a legally valid claim for maintenance, even though the Children’s Act stipulates that maintenance is payable until the age of 18 to an ex-spouse in respect of a child. The courts do however urge children over the age of 18 to at least try and find some kind of casual employment to help contribute towards their monthly expenses.

Somebody who is over the age of 18 and is not a student will have to show good cause in a maintenance application against his or her parent as to why he or she should get maintenance. He must prove that he is at least trying to find employment, if he or she is unemployed that is. If he cannot show proof to the court in the form of job applications, the court may not award maintenance to that child.