Pretoria - The Bloemfontein High Court has freed a man from paying his ex-wife R16000 monthly in spousal maintenance after he successfully proved that his former partner was living with another man.
During their divorce, the former partners entered into a settlement where it was agreed that the ex-husband would pay the ex-wife R16 000 every month until her death, remarriage or cohabitation with another man.
After learning that his ex-wife was living with another man, the ex-husband approached the maintenance court to be freed from the financial obligation.
He also wanted the court to reduce the money he pays towards their child.
It was established that the ex-wife had a partner, referred to only as Mr Coetzee in court papers. The two have been together since 2016.
They entered into the relationship two months after the ex-wife’s divorce.
It was discovered that Mr Coetzee works in Gauteng during the week, but spends his weekends, holidays and free time with the ex-wife at her residence in Bethlehem.
It was also said that he spent two weeks in Bethlehem during the national lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Coetzee also made a significant contribution in the house by buying “some stuff’’. The court also found he paid for fuel for his partner.
At one point, he took the ex-wife and her child for vacation in Mozambique.
“Moreover, Mr Coetzee contributes to the needs of the minor child conceived during the marriage between the appellant and the respondent. So, for instance, he has purchased the minor child a horse and pays for her cellphone,” read the court documents.
It was also heard that Mr Coetzee’s items stored in Bethlehem include his Venter trailer, his braai stand and canopies.
His clothing items were also regularly hung up on the washing line at the residence.
The ex-wife disputed this and said the only male items of clothing hung on the washing line belonged to her son-in-law who could not return to China due to the pandemic and was staying with her.
After considering all the evidence, Judge AJ Tsangarakis said the only reason Mr Coetzee spent his weekends, holidays and free time with the ex-wife was due to his work in Gauteng.
“But for his employment Mr Coetzee would on the probabilities live at the appellant’s (ex-wife) residence during the week too,” Tsangarakis said.
Tsangarakis added that Mr Coetzee’s items and his clothes found on the washing line were proof that he lived under the same roof as the ex-wife.
Tsangarakis dismissed that ex-wife’s appeal with costs and also freed the ex-husband from paying spousal maintenance.