Pretoria - A wife won an application which ordered FNB to hand over her husband’s company bank statements to her during their divorce battle.
Th couple are married out of community of property, but subject to the accrual system. The husband who has a company, launched divorce proceeding in October 2019 and wanted his wife to forfeit her share of the accrued marital estate.
The wife instituted a counter-claim for a share in the accrual and also wanted the husband to maintain her and their minor children.
In her application, she wanted the court to compel her husband to provide her with his bank statements including that of his company.
In June 2021, the wife won the application, however, the judge issued a compelling order only on the husband’s personal bank statements and excluded that of the company.
The wife then made another application asking the court to subpoena the company documents from the bank.
The husband fought back and said his wife’s subpoena for the company’s bank statements was an abuse of process. He also wanted the court to declare that she was in contempt of the compelling order.
In his judgment, Judge Stuart Wilson said the wife’s subpoena could be an abuse of process if the documents were irrelevant to the issues in the divorce action.
Judge Wilson added that the husband made a significant undisclosed income from the company and his bank statements were relevant to that contention.
The husband further tried to defend his refusal by saying handing over the company’s bank statements would breach the Protection of Personal Information Act. However, Judge Wilson said his legal representative did not pursue that point.
“No particularity was given of exactly what ‘personal information’ defined in Section 1 of the act is contained in the company’s bank statements.“
Judge Wilson dismissed the husband’s application and directed FNB to hand over the statements within five days.