The South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg ruled against an accountant who wanted R18,600 spousal maintenance from her lawyer husband.
The ruling was after the wife filed a Rule 43 application in which she sought interim maintenance for herself and their minor child pending the finalisation of their divorce.
She wanted the husband to pay her R18,600 towards her spousal maintenance, and when she loses her job, he should pay her R51,000 and R39,000 for the child.
However, her demands were not met, the court acknowledged that she was temporary employed, but said in the event that her job comes to an end, she will approach the court and seek a relief in that regard.
In his defence, the husband argued that he was already responsible for the minor child, he covered the medical expenses, school fees and extramural activities.
He said he was paying these amounts by his own volition and was willing to continue paying these amounts and also add R7,500 towards the maintenance.
Regarding the wife, he said he was only willing to pay for her vehicle insurance.
Moreover, he said his wife was as qualified as a chartered accountant and it would be unlikely for her not to be unemployable.
He said her qualifications and her age both favour employment for the foreseeable future. He supported his contention with advertisements for employment which were available for accountants.
Judge Shanaaz Christine Mia said she noted that the wife made two submissions and demanded higher amounts in her second correspondence.
These amounts were in respect of her legal costs which had increased by a staggering R100,000 and she also escalated her maintenance claim by R16,000.
Judge Mia said the wife’s current expenses were over R89,000 and her salary was R58,141 which created a deficit on her part, however if the husband paid R15, 000 for the minor child’s maintenance as well as a little over R17,000 for her car instalments, she will not be out of pocket.
Furthermore, the judge said the husband is financially stronger and naturally, his contribution will be more.
As a result, the husband was ordered to R15,000 maintenance for the child, continue paying for the child’s medical aid, cost not covered by the medical aid, school fees and extramural activities.
He will also be responsible for his wife’s medical aid, costs not covered by the medical aid, her car instalments and the insurance premium.
He was also ordered to pay R200,000 toward her legal fees.