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Question
Posted by: Janine | 2011-03-07

Unpaid Maintenance

My ex husband was due to pay full maintenance as of 1 March 2011 according to a court order. I sent a friendly reminder e-mail about 1 week ago which he hasn''t responded too. I urgently need the financial assistance and would like to know what to do.

My situation in a nutshell. He took me to maintenance court in May 2008 to ask for a reduction as he was fired due to time taken to divorce me. It sounded strange and I investigated only to find out that he had resigned from his job in January 2008 and had started his own company in March 2008.

I was able to prove that he was lying but the Magistrate decided to make it an affordability case which dragged on until May 2010. During the first few months of the case he just stopped paying maintenance and ignored the Magistrates suggestion to pay what he could. Nothing was ever done about it. I was then retrenched and still he just didn''t bother. It was very frustrating as I cannot understand why he was allowed to get away with this whilst it was clearly obvious that I was in trouble. I only found a job about 11 months into the case.

The magistrate after all this time eventually ruled that he could pay R500 per month from June 2010 and then as of 1 March 2011 he would have to pay full maintenance as per the divorce order. Two months later I was retrenched again.

There is a lot more but I don''t want to go on and on. I''ve been told I cannot claim for all the maintenance owed to my daughters and me which I''ve let go. I do now desperately need assistance and would like to know if I must go to the courts to file a complaint or is there another way, i.e. a debt collection agency who I could approach.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFamily law expert

Bertus Preller
Dear Janine,

Go to the court and file a complaint. He is at liberty to pay in terms of the order.

B.Proc; AD Dip L Law
Family Law Attorney
Abrahams and Gross Inc.
Established 1935
1st Floor, 56 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town, 8000
O: +27 (0) 21 422 1323
Direct Fax: 086 572 8373
E: bertus@divorceattorney.co.za
W: http: www.divorceattorney.co.za
Twitter: www.twitter.com/edivorce
Facebook: www.facebook.com/divorceattorneys

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4
Our users say:
Posted by: Janine | 2011-03-16

Hi there

Thank you everyone for your advice. I''ve been to court and handed in the documentation. I''ve been told I''ll now have to wait for the sheriff to serve the papers on him and if they cannot get hold of him it just falls away. If they get hold of him he must appear in court and it''s then postponed so that I can get supeoned to appear with him. This could take forever and I need the financial assistance now.

Re claiming for arrears. The magistrate said I cannot do that as she ruled in subjudice (spelling) - HELP!!!!

Reply to Janine
Posted by: MarcE | 2011-03-14

You CAN claim for arrears !! Go back to the court and file a complaint. Claim against his parents - get them to cough up.

Reply to MarcE
Posted by: family law expert | 2011-03-12

Bertus Preller
Dear Janine,

Go to the court and file a complaint. He is at liberty to pay in terms of the order.

B.Proc; AD Dip L Law
Family Law Attorney
Abrahams and Gross Inc.
Established 1935
1st Floor, 56 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town, 8000
O: +27 (0) 21 422 1323
Direct Fax: 086 572 8373
E: bertus@divorceattorney.co.za
W: http: www.divorceattorney.co.za
Twitter: www.twitter.com/edivorce
Facebook: www.facebook.com/divorceattorneys

Reply to family law expert
Posted by: Anon | 2011-03-07

Go Back to the maintenance court and speak to one of the prosecutors about the whole situation. make sure he has your file and ask him what steps to take. If it was a court order that he had to pay he is in contempt and a warrant of arrest can be issued

Reply to Anon

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