Parliament recently passed a law which provides that people who violate maintenance orders, must be listed with the various credit bureaus.
If a person defaults on paying maintenance in terms of a maintenance order and is convicted of an offence in respect thereof, their personal details must be submitted by the Maintenance Offer to the credit bureaus. This means that the maintenance defaulter’s ability to obtain credit and his/her credit score will be adversely affected. This could lead to the defaulter becoming black listed while they owe maintenance.
In addition to the above, a person who fails to make payment in terms of a maintenance order, if convicted, will be liable for a fine or imprisonment for a maximum of 3 years or imprisonment without the option of a fine. The bill has increased the maximum imprisonment time from 1 year to 3 years.
This is part of Government’s efforts to improve the maintenance system and to usher in measures to compel maintenance defaulters to comply with their legal obligations relating to the support of their dependants.
If you are not sure how this affects you in your personal circumstances, please feel free to contact us for more guidance.