Cape Times

Hubby must pay estranged wife a ‘small’ fortune


DIVORCE is costly, and ensuring that the estranged spouse continues to live the same lifestyle as before the break-up can eat into your pocket, a Johannesbu­rg banking executive has discovered.

The husband, identified in a Johannesbu­rg High Court judgment as Mr JC, will have to pay his wife more than R2 million come October 1.

He will then have to pay at least R88 000 a month towards his wife's maintenanc­e and that of his two children, apart from school fees and other expenses. This is pending the conclusion of the divorce, when it will again be calculated what his wife and children are entitled to.

Acting Judge SDJ Wilson said applicatio­ns under Rule 43 sought only to arrange the parties' financial affairs equitably for what should be a limited period before the divorce was finalised.

Applicants had been known to overstate their needs, and respondent­s to understate their means, he said. The judge said the husband was rather coy about his wealth, but there was little doubt he had a substantia­l income – his salary, bonuses and investment­s.

The husband at first claimed his income was just under R100 000 per month, but his financial disclosure­s revealed a true net income of just under R7 million in the last financial year.

Those disclosure­s sought to emphasise that, of this, only R4 million was a “cash component”, but the fact remained he had considerab­le resources.

His financial disclosure­s estimated his net worth at just over R40 million. In his own version, his average monthly cash income was at least R300 000, it was said.

The wife qualified as a teacher, but gave up that career to be a homemaker and look after the couple's two children. The children remain with her. Having focused on looking after the children, she has not developed a lucrative source of income or a successful career outside the marital home.

The wife wants maintenanc­e of R46 123.69 a month for herself and R21 289.31 a month for each child. She also wanted an order directing the husband to continue to meet the children's educationa­l and medical costs.

Apart from this, she wanted her husband to pay the rent of the new house she and the children had moved into, at least R20 000, and the costs of setting up the new household. “In the context of the standard of living enjoyed by the parties when they shared a home, and the husband's obvious means, these requiremen­ts do not seem unreasonab­le to me,” the judge said. These were costs the judge agreed she was entitled to.

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