Divorce is costly, and ensuring that the estranged spouse continues to live the same lifestyle as before the break-up can eat into your pocket, a Johannesburg banking executive has discovered.
The husband, identified in a Johannesburg High Court judgment as Mr JC, will have to pay his wife more than R2 million come October 1.
He will then have to pay at least R88 000 a month towards his wife’s maintenance and that of his two children, apart from school fees and other expenses. This is pending the conclusion of the divorce, when it will again be calculated what his wife and children are entitled to.
Acting Judge SDJ Wilson said applications under Rule 43 sought only to arrange the parties’ financial affairs equitably for what should be a limited period before the divorce was finalised.
Applicants had been known to overstate their needs, and respondents to understate their means, he said. The judge said the husband was rather coy about his wealth, but there was little doubt he had a substantial income – his salary, bonuses and investments.
The husband at first claimed his income was just under R100 000 per month, but his financial disclosures revealed a true net income of just under R7 million in the last financial year.
Those disclosures sought to emphasise that, of this, only R4 million was a “cash component”, but the fact remained he had considerable resources.
His financial disclosures estimated his net worth at just over R40 million. In his own version, his average monthly cash income was at least R300 000, it was said.
The wife qualified as a teacher, but gave up that career to be a homemaker and look after the couple’s two children. The children remain with her. Having focused on looking after the children, she has not developed a lucrative source of income or a successful career outside the marital home.
The wife wants maintenance of R46 123.69 a month for herself and R21 289.31 a month for each child. She also wanted an order directing the husband to continue to meet the children’s educational and medical costs.
Apart from this, she wanted her husband to pay the rent of the new house she and the children had moved into, at least R20 000, and the costs of setting up the new household.
“In the context of the standard of living enjoyed by the parties when they shared a home, and the husband’s obvious means, these requirements do not seem unreasonable to me,” the judge said. These were costs the judge agreed she was entitled to.