What happens if a person against whom a maintenance order is made refuses to comply? - Justice Centres Uganda
child maintenance

What happens if a person against whom a maintenance order is made refuses to comply?


If after one month of making the maintenance order it appears to the magistrate that the money court ordered to be paid hasn’t been paid, the magistrate may issue a warrant. The purpose of the warrant is to cause the person who has breached/ violated the maintenance order to be brought to court to appear before the magistrate. If that person refuses or fails to pay as per the maintenance order, the magistrate may sign a warrant and …

  • cause attachment of that person’s earnings or;
  • direct that the sum due together with costs incurred, be recovered by attachment and sale or redistribution of the property of the father, mother or legal guardian unless they give security to court that they will appear on a day given by court.

Can a maintenance order be varied or changed?

Yes, it can be varied by either party to it i.e. the applicant or respondent especially where the financial means have improved or worsened. Therefore the court upon inquiring into the circumstances, can make an order in increasing or decreasing the amount of money previously ordered to be paid under the order.

What happens if the person against whom a maintenance order has been issued dies?

An order of maintenance may be made and enforced against the estate of the deceased who has been declared father or mother under the declaration of parentage.

When does the maintenance order cease to have effect?

  • Where a court grants an order for custody of that child to the person against whom the order was made or any other person in his or her place.
  • Where the child attains 18 years

How does JCU help in child maintenance matters?

  • JCU offers legal sensitization to the general public about child maintenance
  • JCU conducts mediation sessions which involves both parties or guardians coming up with a reasonable understanding. This happens where all parties are invited for a mediation session to come up with a memorandum of understanding.
  • JCU also assists the aggrieved party in filing a complaint on oath and also supports with court representation in an application for child maintenance.

Further readings:

Referral organizations or institutions

Local council government of your district

The Probation, Social and Welfare Officer (PSWO) of your district

Local Police Stations


 Uganda Child Helpline (SAUTI 116)


_The 1995 constitution of the Republic of Uganda (Articles 34, 31(4))

_The Children’s Act CAP 59 as amended (S.2_33)

_ The Local council Act CAP 243 as amended

_ The Police Act CAP 303 as amended (S.21 and 31)