Fouche v Pietersen [2019] NZFC 7317

Published 07 December 2020

Child maintenance — confirmation order — ability to pay — arrears — Family Proceedings Act 1980, s 138. The applicant mother sought a confirmation order for child maintenance ordered to be paid by the respondent father in a South African court. The father accepted he had a basic liability to pay child support but disputed the amount. In the order he was to pay NZ$899 per month but he submitted he could only afford to pay $400. The Judge assessed the father's income and expenses. The Judge found he had overstated his expenses and possibly made the wrong financial decision in purchasing a vehicle that cost $800 per month to pay off. His income was varied due to overtime and travel which made determining an exact figure difficult. A reduction in the amount owed was warranted, but not to the extent suggested by the father. An amount of $640 was adopted to cater to father's reasonable ability to pay and to account for the variation in the father's income and expenses. $160 was also to be paid monthly on account of the arrears. Judgment Date: 5 September 2019. * * * Note: names have been changed to comply with legal requirements. * * *