My wife of 20 years divorced me last yea...

Asked by Ian Molyneux on 25-02-2014 15:28:32
Question posted in the Divorce Law category relating to Gauteng
Question value: R 280.00

My wife of 20 years divorced me last year when i was unemployed and she owned a thriving business, it is now 6 months later and i am still unemployed. I did not get legal representation when she divorced me, i gave her 50% of my assets and 100% of my retirement fund policies. She gave non of her assets to me.

I have 2 questions, can i still go after 50% of her assets as at the time of the divorce? And can i claim monthly support from her?

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Answer to the Question

Posted by Att. Patrick on 25-02-2014 21:10:23
Hi there and thank you for your question,

As I understand it, you are ALREADY divorced, and that you are no longer married. i.e. Court Order of Divorce.

If that is true, then I'm afraid that the answer to your first question is no, you can't still go after 50% of her assets that she had at the time of the divorce. It is too late. You are already divorced. Once the division of assets takes place at the divorce, that's the end of it.

What you can claim from her is monthly maintenance. You can either do this through the High Court, or through your local Regional Magistrates Court or Divorce Court. If you don't want an attorney to get involved (costs), then you can do the application yourself. The clerk at the Court can assist in completing the forms, and the sheriff will serve the application on your ex-wife. The matter will then be called in Court.

I won't comment on why you gave up 100% of your retirement fund policies to her, or why you gave her 50% of your assets but she didn't give you any of hers. It seems to me as if you settled the divorce badly.

If there is a part of the answer which you need more advice on, or clarity please continue in this same thread instead of opening a new question.


Att. Patrick

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Information provided by client

I have two last questions, firstly, if i take this course of action, how much could i claim in maintenance from her and secondly, if we went to court could she plead poverty as i know she hides a lot of her company income? this could then result in me spending money and not getting anything out of it.

And yes, i gave her what she asked for in the hope that she would change her mind. I was in a bad place at the time of the divorce as i suffer from chronic depression.

Answer to the Question

Posted by Att. Patrick on 26-02-2014 18:48:53
Hi again,

The amount of maintenance that you can claim will be based on the following two factors:

1. Your legitimate need to maintenance, in a certain amount. e.g. R10,000 per month; &
2. Her ability to pay that maintenance. e.g. She might only "earn" R15,000 per month.

The court will have a look at your needs, and then at her ability, and come to a decision.

That was why I suggested that you run the maintenance claim yourself, so you don't spend thousands on legal fees.

If she is successful in hiding her income, that will be a problem for you. This is why you can subpoena all of her financial records and information. Hopefully you will be able to see from those records her earnings.

If there is a part of the answer which you need more advice on, or clarity please continue in this same thread instead of opening a new question.

Att. Patrick

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