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Question
Posted by: Paul | 2010/06/07

Maintenance

My wife of 15 years has not worked for 10 years. What is an acceptable period for paying rehabilitative maintenance ? She is 41.

Also, when working out the actual costs of the kids, I will pay there medical, food, clothes and school fees. Once she finds work, do I have to also pay maintenance for the kids for their share of electricity, petrol, maid, phone etc or not ?

Thanks

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFamily law expert

The meaning of 'rehabilitation' was that the spouse who had been disadvantaged or disabled in some way by the marriage was enabled, through training or therapy or other opportunities, to be restored either to the economic position vis-à-vis employment which she occupied prior to the marriage, or to be reintroduced to the ability to participate effectively and profitably in normal economic life. It is an accepted principle of South African law that neither spouse has a right to maintenance upon divorce. See Strauss v Strauss 1974 (3) SA 79 (A) and it will depend on a number of factors such as (1) the parties' respective earning capacities, (2) their ages and the duration of the marriage, and (3) any other factor. The parties' respective earning capacities are particularly important in the Court's determination of whether a wife will be entitled to rehabilitative maintenance.

Bertus Preller
Family Law Attorney
KWJ Inc.
bertus@divorceattorney.co.za

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: family law expert | 2010/06/19

The meaning of 'rehabilitation' was that the spouse who had been disadvantaged or disabled in some way by the marriage was enabled, through training or therapy or other opportunities, to be restored either to the economic position vis-à-vis employment which she occupied prior to the marriage, or to be reintroduced to the ability to participate effectively and profitably in normal economic life. It is an accepted principle of South African law that neither spouse has a right to maintenance upon divorce. See Strauss v Strauss 1974 (3) SA 79 (A) and it will depend on a number of factors such as (1) the parties' respective earning capacities, (2) their ages and the duration of the marriage, and (3) any other factor. The parties' respective earning capacities are particularly important in the Court's determination of whether a wife will be entitled to rehabilitative maintenance.

Bertus Preller
Family Law Attorney
KWJ Inc.
bertus@divorceattorney.co.za

Reply to family law expert
Posted by: G-Dad | 2010/06/08

Yes you have to pay maintenance for the children and yes the courts do accept any cost that is to the benefit of the children as part of an expense.

Reply to G-Dad
Posted by: G-Dad | 2010/06/08

Normally in most cases the courts will only allow rehabilitative maintenance for the duration of the divorce, I know of some cases where it had been granted after the divorce, it all depends on the merit of the case.

Reply to G-Dad
Posted by: Mel | 2010/06/07

Why dont you go down to the maintenance courts with all your documentation. There they will be able to assist you in anything that you are not sure of. They will determine, children''s ages, what the reasonable costs should be etc. Yhey are very helpful and thorough. You can find any maintenance courts at your local magistrate court in your area. you dont need an appointment, just get there early!
good luck

Reply to Mel

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