Just my point of view. Had a matter in Kemptonpark Mag Court (criminal division) Nov 2018 where the parties had an agreement that the father will pay less for a year in order to stabilize his financial position after his employer was liquidated and he had to obtain new employment. Effect was that in accordance with the order he had to pay R6k p/m, he only paid R3k p/m, fell into arrears with just over R30k, mother fell on financial hardship and approached an attorney, criminal charges was filed and the Magistrate held that there is an order in place that he needs to pay, no agreement can stop the working of an order, client was given 30 days to settle arrears alternatively criminal trial will proceed. Insofar as I am aware the Maintenance act has not changed iro an order being amended by an agreement inter partes without ever approaching the court, but I do very little maintenance these days. *Edit: Just to add, the Magistrate took the stance iro non compliance with a Court order and specifically so that no attempt was made to advise the Maintenance Court of his change in circumstances and to lower the amount.