Court orders husband to pay maintenance for stepchild, while unemployed wife bags R25K monthly settlement

File Photo

File Photo

Published Mar 1, 2023


Pretoria - A businessman husband, who is in the middle of divorce proceedings with his unemployed wife, who tried to be freed from an obligation to pay child maintenance for his stepchild, has been ordered to continue paying for six months while the wife locates the biological father and arranges for him to pay.

The husband and wife were married in community of property. After years of marriage, the woman instituted divorce proceedings and claimed interim maintenance for herself and her two children in the amount of R50 000 a month.

Her first born child is from a previous relationship with another man.

Her ex-husband argued that there is no legal obligation to maintain the child as he had not adopted him.

The wife dismissed the argument, saying it was unsustainable because he had been maintaining the child without any qualms since 2018 after the biological father stopped contributing to his maintenance.

The fact that they were married in community of property, she argued, meant the ex-husband was obliged to pay for her child’s maintenance.

She also indicated that she wanted her husband to retain her and the two children on his medical aid; pay the children’s school expenses; pay for the rates and taxes; water and electricity; internet; DSTV and Netflix; access gate costs; security services; and car insurance for her two vehicles.

The wife explained that she has been unemployed since 2017 and there was never pressure on her to look for a job as the husband handled all household expenses, including maintaining both children.

She said he also gave her an allowance of between R28 000 and R32 000 per month for her personal needs and a credit card with unrestricted use.

The wife said the businessman husband had a lucrative business which has allowed him to purchase their R4 million matrimonial home cash, renovate it for R100 000, and buy furniture to the tune of R1m.

She further argued that he is into expensive brands and bought perfume worth R7 000.

The husband had told the court that he earned R40 000 per month, but said his monthly expenses were over R68 000 per month.

The court found his evidence to be untrue as he could afford to give his ex-wife a monthly allowance of more than R28 000 per month and also send money to his girlfriend, including his mother.

On his legal obligation regarding maintaining his stepchild, Judge A J Noko was curious as to why both parties were content with the fact that the biological father was not paying maintenance.

Judge Noko said the wife took advantage of her husband but at the same time, he was happy to oblige and in the end, they only had themselves to blame.

In his ruling, the judge ordered the husband to continue paying maintenance to his stepchild for six months while the wife ensures that the biological father pays maintenance.

The judgment further ordered the husband to pay his wife R25 000 per month; pay R5 000 for each child; retain his wife and the children on his medical aid; pay the children’s school expenses; pay for rates and taxes, water, electricity, internet charges, DSTV, Neflix, access gate costs, security services, and car insurance for her two vehicles.

The couple are both living together at their matrimonial home.