South African Court awards maintenance and legal costs to abused wife in a Rule 43


We’ve all heard about the long arm of the law.

While that arm may be long, it’s not always very strong.

I have been embroiled in a particularly emotional matter.

My client had been struggling under the pressure of her narcissistic husband for years.

Eventually, she could take it no more and found temporary accommodation and moved out.

He was not prepared to allow her to try to regain her life and, as is often the case, he used he financial predicament as a way to try to force her to return to him.

She had to be strong and had to resist moving back to a life of emotional exploitation and abuse.

She weathered the storm while a Rule 43 was being brought for interim maintenance by borrowing money to survive.

Her husband pleaded poverty and used a temporary salary cut to justify offering her absolutely no maintenance.

On the day of the hearing, we tried to settle but her husband’s attorney said they his client could offer absolutely nothing because he did not earn enough.

Settlement was impossible so the matter had to be heard by a judge.

My client won maintenance and legal costs, and it seemed that the law indeed had come to the aid of my client.

But the law can be weak in certain cases.

I have others similar to this where the spouse tries at all costs to circumvent the law.

In this case, the husband now claims he is medically unfit to work and has booked himself into hospital for depression.

So, while there is an order in her favour, he will try to find a way to circumvent paying her maintenance even if it means hurting himself.

Unfortunately, there are instances where the law is weak and where the conniving try to escape the net.

If you need help with spousal and/or child maintenance and legal costs, contact Simon today by email at

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