- Category Advice Column, Health, Parenting, Pregnancy & Baby
Can you claim pregnancy related expenses from your child’s other parent?
Yes! Both parents of a child have an obligation to pay for pregnancy related expenses, which are called lying-in expenses, pro-rata according to their means.
The Maintenance Act states that the Court may make an order for the payment to the child’s mother of an amount, together with interest thereon, which, in the opinion of the court, she is entitled to recover in connection with the:-
- Birth of the child; and
- Maintenance of the child from the date of the child’s birth to the date of the application.
An enquiry will be held to determine whether the expenses claimed by the mother are reasonable and necessary.
Furthermore, the amounts claimed by the mother will have to be proven during the enquiry. This can be done by submitting all the receipts, invoices and proof of payments for the expenses that have already been incurred. It is therefore important for mothers to keep these documents during the pregnancy.
Applications for lying-in expenses is made after the child is born, and can be combined with an application for future monthly child maintenance. Such an application is lodged with the Maintenance Court in the area where the mother of the child resides or works.
What does lying-in expenses include?
Lying-in expenses include expenses incurred before, during and immediately after the birth of the child.
These expenses are meant to contribute to the reasonable costs that a mother has while pregnant and preparing for the birth of the baby as well as the direct costs incurred directly after the birth.
These costs normally include things like:-
- Doctor’s appointments and medical care before and after the birth;
- Reasonable and necessary items required during maternity, such as vitamins prescribed by a doctor; and
- Baby-related items required directly after the birth.
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