Woman with three domestic workers and an au pair sues husband for R68,000 child maintenance

Divorce. Picture: Karolina Grabowska/Pexels

Divorce. Picture: Karolina Grabowska/Pexels

Published Jun 24, 2024


A woman in the midst of a divorce told the High Court that she spends over R110,000 every month to sustain herself and her four children and needs her husband to pay over R68,000 for the children's maintenance.

The woman filed a Rule 43 application in the North West High Court in Mahikeng, seeking interim maintenance pending their divorce.

The pair married in 2015 out of community of property, excluding the accrual system.

They have two biological children and adopted twins from the wife's late sister.

In her application, she stated that her husband currently pays almost R34,000 for her and the children’s maintenance, which she claims is insufficient as it does not cover all their needs.

She provided the court with a financial disclosure form showing that her and her children's monthly expenses exceed R110,400, with the children's expenses amounting to over R69,000.

She argued that her husband should pay at least R68,430 towards the maintenance of the children and herself.

She added that she currently earns R44,000 each month, but her salary will decrease to R36,900 next year.

Additionally, she took a loan of over R444,000 to secure a new home and purchase furniture.

She claimed to pay R28,000 for rent and R7,000 towards the loan.

She asserted that her husband could afford the amount she sought, as he had always financed their luxurious lifestyle, including their residence in a R25 million house.

The woman also mentioned that they employed three domestic workers, an au pair, and two gardeners, stating that their services remained essential due to her work commitments.

She noted their international holidays using her husband's company jets and chartered helicopters, and cited a R1.4 million car he gifted her and a R2 million car he drives, both fully paid for.

In his defence, the husband accused his wife of exaggerating her expenses and failing to provide documentary proof. He claimed the rental amount was inflated by almost R10,000 and denied his car was fully paid, stating it had a balance of R1.4 million with a R29,000 monthly instalment. He argued that their vacations were financed by his father and asserted that his wife could afford the required maintenance as she is wealthy. He stated his own earnings as R64,000.

Judge Sandiswa Mfenyana noted that the husband sought a ruling against his wife but failed to provide proof of his income. The judge acknowledged that while the husband's father might have assisted financially, it did not fully explain their lifestyle expenses. Judge Mfenyana concluded that the husband had the capacity to provide a luxurious lifestyle for his family, which could not be achieved on a salary of R64,000.

After considering the financial capacity of both parties, the judge ordered the husband to contribute at least R45,510 monthly towards the maintenance of his children and wife, excluding school fees, which he must pay directly to the school. He was also ordered to pay R100,000 towards the wife's legal costs.

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