The Western Cape High Court made a ruling, ordering a man to pay his estranged wife over R70 000 monthly maintenance. According to IOL, this judgment follows the couple’s separation in March of the previous year and the wife’s subsequent divorce proceedings. The couple, who had an antenuptial contract, has four children together, with the youngest being 18 years old.
During the court proceedings, the husband and wife provided varying descriptions of their lifestyle during their marriage. While the court referred to it as “enjoying a very comfortable existence,” the wife characterised it as “a life of relative luxury,” and the husband saw it as an “above-average modest lifestyle.”
The court considered the husband’s monthly expenses, which amounted to approximately R366,766.
According to the judgment, the wife sought a monthly maintenance sum of R96,925. Additionally, the husband was required to continue covering her medical aid, cellphone contract, and levies for an apartment she had moved into. The wife also requested an annual allowance of R260,000 for local and overseas holidays and continued use of a Nieu Bethesda, Eastern Cape holiday home. She also sought reimbursement for payments made to domestic staff at the holiday home.
The wife holds an Honours degree in psychology. She will soon complete her PhD in neuroscience at a Cape Town university. She has not had a job since 1997 since she spent most of her adulthood raising their children.
The husband has been the primary breadwinner for the family. He was one of the founders of the Tribeca Coffee Company International Group.
The wife presented three schedules outlining her monthly expenses throughout the divorce proceedings. The latest schedule, produced in March 2023, indicated her monthly requirement as R128,298, an increase from the previous schedules. It included substantial allocations for personal care, groceries, loan repayments related to apartment renovations, and expenses for overseas holidays.
Acting Judge of the high court, G Leslie, expressed reservations about the third schedule, deeming it artificially inflated and misaligned with the wife’s reasonable requirements. The judgment underscores the complexity and subjectivity of maintenance rulings in divorce cases.
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