Wife entitled to the good life, even in divorce

Wife entitled to the good life, even in divorce. Picture: File

Wife entitled to the good life, even in divorce. Picture: File

Published Nov 10, 2023



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A wife who made it clear that she was unprepared to tighten her belt, pending the divorce between herself and her husband, as she was accustomed to a certain lifestyle, turned to court to demand the husband pay her R84 000 a month in maintenance.

The wife told the Gauteng High Court, Johannesburg, that her husband and his new love lived a good life, while she struggled to make ends meet.

She said that during their marriage, she had got used to eating out at restaurants and going on local and overseas holidays. She was not about to give that up.

As such, the wife said she needed R84 000 a month, pending their divorce. She also wanted R180 000 in arrear maintenance.

When they had broken up, the husband had agreed to pay her R60 000 a month, pending the divorce. That he had done so for while but had then stopped, because “he changed his mind”.

He said the wife did not need his money, as her father was rich and she was a “trust fund kid”.

The parties had married in April 1993, out of community of property and under an antenuptial contract.

The wife sued for divorce on the grounds that her husband had cheated on her. The husband, on the other hand, said the new woman came into his life only after their separation. Their divorce is pending.

The wife said her only income was from an insignificant amount of interest from her bank account. She received various loan amounts from her father.

In a disclosure of her financial position to the court, it emerged that she had four immovable properties registered in her name, but she said her husband received the rental income from two of the properties.

The properties are worth about R10.5 million. The rental payments were not disclosed. The wife said that while the properties were hers, the husband had instructed tenants not to pay the rent to her.

In playing open cards, the wife also disclosed that she was driving a car valued at R400 000 and she had jewellery valued at R407 000.

The woman, 52, said she had stopped working shortly after they were married. They had enjoyed a high standard of living during the period they had lived together, including holidaying locally and internationally regularly.

Their two children attended private educational institutions. They were spoilt, she said, their presents had included new cars when they had turned 18. The family had often eaten at restaurants.

The wife said that during all those times, the husband had paid. She said he had controlled all the family finances; including the bank accounts in her name. She alleged that he had been secretive about his financial affairs.

The wife complained about the fact that while she was no longer enjoying the high standard of living she had grown accustomed to, her husband continued to enjoy a high-end lifestyle. He travelled throughout the country and went on overseas holidays.

Her husband, on the other hand, disputed that his wife was in need of maintenance.

He said she had the means to maintain herself.

He disputed the allegation that he had failed to make a full disclosure of his financial status.

The husband said he was unemployed and unable to get work because he had been declared a delinquent director by the court.

He said his wife has no financial difficulties, given her property portfolio and the investments she owned. She was the recipient of large sums of money from her father, through a family trust he created for the benefit of his daughters, and was worth millions.

Regarding the various holidays the family enjoyed, the husband said his father-in-law had funded the trips.

He also made it clear that he had his own financial arrangements with their children, who were at university.

The court concluded that the wife was entitled to R84 000 a month maintenance, pending the divorce.

The judge said the wife was entitled to support on a scale commensurate with the social position, lifestyle and financial resources of the parties.

“It would be reasonable to maintain her in a position similar to that to which she would ordinarily be accustomed while she was living with the husband,” the court said.

Pretoria News