A job and a trust fund: Husband must pay R200,000 a month maintenance pending divorce deal

Court said he has an ongoing duty of support towards his homestead

The wife retains the use of her Mercedes-Benz C 200. File photo.
The wife retains the use of her Mercedes-Benz C 200. File photo.
Image: Supplied

The high court in Johannesburg has ordered a man involved in divorce action with his wife to pay R200,000 maintenance monthly towards her, pending the finalisation of their divorce. 

The court also ordered that the man contribute R100,000 towards her legal fees for their divorce case.  

The woman approached the court seeking an order for maintenance of R110,600 per month, fuel costs, insurance and the annual licence fee for her vehicle. She also asked for her mobile phone costs, R50,000 for relocation costs, a rental deposit and the first month's rental. 

The wife told the court they lived an above-average standard of living during the marriage.

She said the man used to take care of her personal monthly expenses to the tune of R117,200.

She said the husband has different sources of income and sometimes carries cash. Money transfers and deposits are made into his bank accounts.

She also “indicated how the man had used the finances during their marriage, such as financing his extramarital affair, including purchasing a property”. 

They live in a paid-up four-bedroomed house valued at R5.8m and have been together for about 13 years and married in community of property for about six years. The woman had a daughter from a previous relationship, and there was no child born in their marriage. She did not work, and the man has always provided for her and her daughter.

The woman said the husband allowed her to use a credit card to run the household. However, currently her credit card often has a zero balance. For about 11 years, she had a credit card with which she could spend between R40,000 and R50,000 per month. This is now unpaid. 

The wife told the court that since their estrangement, they live in separate rooms in the house. Between herself and the domestic worker, they cook and leave his food at his bedroom door.

She intends to move out as “the situation destroys her mental health”.

The husband told the court he could not afford the wife's demands as he earns R55,000.

He stated he is indebted in an amount of R1.7m and cannot afford the amount requested by the wife.   

He confirmed to the court that he was from a wealthy family and claimed the woman was trying to gain access to his family's wealth. 

He said his parents acquired many successful businesses, and he was made a director of some.

When his parents were alive, he would receive large sums of money which helped fund his exorbitant lifestyle.

Since the passing of his parents, however, his financial position has changed drastically, as the wealth is managed through a trust to which he is a trustee with his two siblings.

He said his siblings are astute business people who refuse to fund his previous lifestyle. 

Acting judge N Mazibuko found in the context of their standard of living, their obvious means and current responsibilities, it does not seem the maintenance requirements are in any way unreasonable and exorbitant.

It was not in dispute that the parties' homestead has a monthly expenditure of R202,300 funded by the man, and the judge said he has an ongoing duty of support towards his homestead. 

In addition to the monthly allowance, the court ordered the man should continue to retain the woman and her daughter on his medical aid at his cost, pending the finalisation of the divorce action. In addition, the wife shall have continued use of the Mercedes-Benz C200 AMG, owned by the man, that she has been using all along.


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