Spousal Maintenance during and after Divorce

Spousal Maintenance during Divorce

You can claim interim (temporary) maintenance from your spouse during contested divorce proceedings. This is done by way of a Rule 43 application (High Court) or a Rule 58 application (Magistrates’ Court), generally brought with the assistance of a divorce lawyer.
In this type of application, you may request the Court to grant an interim (temporary) order that your spouse must contribute towards your and/or your child’s maintenance. This maintenance is intended to be an interim remedy and cannot be determined with the same degree of precision as would be possible in a trial where detailed evidence is produced to the court.
You’re entitled to reasonable interim maintenance dependent upon the marital standard of living of the parties, your actual and reasonable requirements and the financial capacity of your spouse to meet such requirements. Although mostly determined by having regard to income, the Court may in some circumstances find that inroads on capital may be justified.

Spousal Maintenance after Divorce

Your spouse isn’t automatically entitled to spousal maintenance following a divorce. Section 7 of the Divorce Act 70 of 1979 states that:

“The Court may, having regard to

  • the existing or prospective means of each of the parties,
  • their respective earning capacities,
  • financial needs and obligations,
  • the age of each of the parties,
  • the duration of the marriage,
  • the standard of living of the parties prior to the divorce,
  • the conduct in so far as it may be relevant to the breakdown of the marriage,
  • an order in terms of Section 7(3) and
  • any other factor which in the opinion of the Court should be taken into account,
    make an order which the Court finds just in respect of the payment of maintenance by the one party to the other for any period until death or remarriage of the party in whose favour the order is given, whichever event may first occur.”

A spouse isn’t entitled to spousal maintenance after the divorce. The Court, however, has a very wide discretion to award maintenance to a spouse after divorce and will take any such factor as it may deem relevant, in the circumstances, into consideration when considering an order for spousal maintenance.

Maintenance Queries

Our office has the expertise to assist you with regards to any maintenance query you may have. In the event where you want to enforce a maintenance order or when you are served with an application for a maintenance order, you can immediately contact our offices to ensure that you receive the best possible assistance right away.

E-mail us at divorce@barnardinc.co.za or phone us on 0861 088 088 for our terms of service.

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