Do you have an existing court order against a former spouse or parent to contribute to maintenance? Are you aware that the order is now enforceable for a period of 30 years from the date it was granted?

In the recent High Court judgment. Simon Roy Arcus v Jill Henree Arcus (4/2021) [2022] ZASCA 9 (21 January 2022).   The judge ruled that maintenance   orders do not fall within the ambit of “ordinary debts” which prescribe after a mere three years, but that orders are equivalent to “judgment debt” which only prescribes after 30 years.

This means that  maintenance orders from as early as 1992 can still be enforced today and therefore that arrear maintenance  can be claimed for maintenance  payments missed from 1992 and onwards.

This also means that should the person who is obliged to pay maintenance  not be in a position to pay same now, one can proceed against the said person at a later stage when they might be in a better financial position.

Do not hesitate to contact Burden Swart & Botha inc. should you have any maintenance  related queries, or if you would like our offices to assist you with any maintenance   claims.