The financial demands of a mother of two children on her estranged husband, which included R2 600 a month for new clothes, did not sit well with a Mpumalanga High Court judge.
The judge would have none of the applicant’s demands because she had a stable job and earned a decent income.
While the applicant’s lawyer argued that his client’s demand for R2 600 a month for clothing was not unreasonable, the judge had put her foot down.
“I do not agree with that notion and I find it to be unreasonable and untrue that the applicant is spending R2 600 a month on clothing,” the judge said.
The applicant and her husband are divorcing but she, in the meantime, is demanding the bulk of his salary to maintain herself and their two children. She is staying with the children in the matrimonial home.
The woman told the judge that her monthly expenses were R31 407.70. She indicated that every month she had a shortfall of R15 134.26.
The respondent, a businessman and a director of a company, told the court he earned R50 824.53 per month.
The wife is employed as a general administrator and bookkeeper and she earns R16 273.44 per month.
The husband accused his wife for not only having inflated her expenses, but also for being dishonest about her true expenses.
He indicated that he already paid R24 928.67 towards home loan, electricity and levies, groceries, school fees, after care and medical aid for the children and the applicant.
He told the court that he was not going to cough up more, especially to cover her clothing expenses.
The applicant complained in her court papers that since her husband moved out in January, he refused to pay her and the children’s reasonable expenses. She also demanded that he contributed R40 000 towards her legal fees in the divorce and R18 796 towards the maintenance of her car.
The judge said it was not disputed that the husband was paying for the house in which the wife was staying, as well as for the electricity.
It, however, emerged that the wife included in the list of her expenses, services for which her husband was already paying for.
The judge said the husband did not strike her as a rich man who created a certain standard of living for his family. The evidence was that the family had been living a normal standard of living.
“I am convinced that the applicant has enough income for herself and therefore does not need a spousal maintenance,” she said.
The husband was ordered to pay R3500 a month towards the children and nothing for the wife. Regarding the car maintenance costs, the judge remarked that the husband said he always repaired the cars.
“If that worked, why change now?” the judge said in refusing this expense.