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Wife not happy with husband contributing ‘only’ R1 756 092 towards legal fees in pending divorce

A wife in a divorce trial said she was being short-changed by the R71 000 maintenance her husband was paying her. Picture: File

A wife in a divorce trial said she was being short-changed by the R71 000 maintenance her husband was paying her. Picture: File

Published May 11, 2022

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Pretoria - A woman is not happy with the fact that her estranged husband contributed “only” R1 756 092 towards her legal fees in their pending divorce action.

She turned to the court and demanded that he contribute a further R935 000 to allow her to prepare for the divorce trial.

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The woman also wanted the Western Cape High Court to order her husband to pay R40 000 towards an expert witness she would call to testify on her behalf and for him, over and above the legal fees he has footed, to pay her counsel R56 000 a day for each day of the trial.

The wife said she was being short-changed by the R71 000 maintenance her husband was paying her. She said her expenses far exceeded that. She wanted the amount increased to R125 000 a month, pending the finalisation of their divorce.

The woman said she needed the money to look after herself, their three children, as well as her mother. The court was told that her beauty care alone ran to R5 000 a month, while miscellaneous expenses cost R93 000.

She said she needed R7 500 a month from her husband to repay the loans she had to obtain, as she could not make ends meet.

Another demand she made was for the family car – a Ferrari Alonso 599.

While the husband did not dispute that he had the financial means to pay for all she demanded, he said he was paying her nearly R205 000 a month, if all his other contributions towards her and the children were taken into account.

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The couple’s divorce action has been pending since 2014.

The husband said the children lived with him for some of the time, yet he paid his wife in full. He said she had cheated on him during their marriage.

The husband said he had no idea what she was spending all the money on and it was time she got a job.

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The wife said the sums she sought for interim support were reasonable and her husband could easily afford them. He had a track record of living a lavish lifestyle. She pointed to the high standard of living they had enjoyed during the marriage.

Besides, the wife said, looking after her own mother was also a costly business. While they were married, her husband promised to take care of her mother.

The husband said he had paid his wife R71 000 a month for the past seven years, apart from all the other financial contributions he had made, yet she remained silent about what she did with the money. He said his contributions in fact ran to R204 098.82 a month.

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But he told the court he was willing to pay her another R200 000 so she could prepare for their divorce trial, as well as a further R50 000 a day during the trial for her legal team.

The court said the woman was not candid on what she had spent the money on and it felt that she had not justified the additional maintenance she wanted.

While turning down that part of her claim, the court ordered that the husband make further contributions to her legal fees, so the trial could resume.

Pretoria News

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