Beyond “I Do”: Understanding Spousal Maintenance After Divorce

spousal maintenance

Going through a divorce can be emotionally and financially draining. One major concern is spousal maintenance – will you still receive financial support after the marriage ends?

The Duty to Support:

In South Africa, marriage carries a reciprocal duty of support. Traditionally, this meant husbands supporting wives. However, the law now takes a more gender-neutral approach. This article explains what you need to know about spousal maintenance after divorce.

How to Get Spousal Maintenance:

The Divorce Act (Act 70 of 1979) allows you to claim maintenance in two ways:

  1. By Consent (Section 7(1) of the Act): During your marriage, you and your spouse can agree on a written settlement agreement specifying maintenance payments. If the court approves this agreement when granting the divorce, it becomes legally binding.
  2. By Court Order (Section 7(2) of the Act): If you don’t have a written agreement, the court can order spousal maintenance based on several factors, including:
  • Each spouse’s earning capacity
  • Your age
  • Length of the marriage
  • Your financial assets and needs
  • The standard of living during the marriage
  • Your conduct in relation to the marriage breakdown
  • Any other relevant factors

Important Note:

An antenuptial contract doesn’t affect the court’s discretion to award spousal maintenance.

Understanding Your Options:

Knowing your rights and potential financial obligations in a divorce is crucial. This helps you navigate the process smoothly and make informed decisions about your future.

Call to Action:

Divorce is a highly emotional experience, and navigating legal issues like spousal maintenance can add significant stress. Understanding your rights and potential obligations is crucial, but it’s also important to prioritize your well-being during this challenging time. Our experienced legal team can take the burden of legal complexities off your shoulders.

We’ll work diligently to understand your unique circumstances, explain your options in clear and concise terms, and advocate for a fair outcome that protects your financial future. Don’t hesitate to contact us today for a consultation. We’re here to support you emotionally and legally as you move forward with your new chapter.

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