Even if your marriage is collapsing around you, you might be afraid to sue for divorce because you have no money to survive on, plus you know that a hotly contested divorce might take years to finalise while your breadwinner spouse fights you tooth and nail every step of the way.
How will you support yourself and your children until the case is finalised? How will you pay your lawyer to run the case for you? Must you wait for the end of the case before you see a cent?
The answer luckily is “no” in that you have a relatively quick and simple remedy in the form of asking the court for “interim relief” in respect of –
You may well hear this form of relief referred to in High Court divorces as a “Rule 43 application” (or, if your divorce is in the Regional Court, as a “Rule 58 application”), whilst the technical term for the maintenance is “maintenance pendente lite” (“maintenance pending the litigation”).
At this stage the Court isn’t interested in recriminations, or blame-finding, or the itemised details of your and your spouses’ financial positions. Those enquiries come later, during the actual divorce litigation. At this stage all it wants to know is how much you need, and how much your spouse can afford to pay.
A recent High Court judgment illustrates…
Of course every case will be different, but where the parties have, as in this case, enjoyed a high standard of living, the figures can be substantial.Here for example the Court’s awards were sizeable, commenting that the husband “is coy about his wealth, but there is little doubt that he has a substantial income” – just under R7m in the previous year – with “considerable resources” and an estimated net worth of just over R40 million. Moreover the couple had enjoyed “a very comfortable lifestyle” together.The end result is that the husband must pay substantially what his wife asked for in the form of R1.6m immediately and thereafter R108k p.m. –
Disclaimer: The information provided herein should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your professional adviser for specific and detailed advice.