KN v BAN [2022] ZAECQBHC 38

EKSTEEN J

18 October 2022

Maintenance

Employment prospects of ex-wife – Aged 46 and married for 22 years – Little work experience

The parties were married out of community of property with the accrual system. They had one minor son and one major daughter.

Claim: The wife (plaintiff) sought a decree of divorce. The accrual was to an extent distributed prior to trial and a share of the husband’s pension interest was agreed. What remained was the issue of maintenance for the minor child and the plaintiff.

Discussion: Plaintiff was 46 years old and was married to the defendant for 22 years, has no formal qualification or training subsequent to matriculating, and from the time of marriage until 2019 she was not engaged in any form of employment. She attempted a job but had to leave due to the stresses of job and home. Plaintiff has since applied for at least 45 different working opportunities which she considered to be relatively compatible with her very limited work experience. She has not been invited to a single interview.

Findings: Although the plaintiff said that she would like to be employed and portrayed a positive self-image, her prospects of securing a rewarding position are very slim. The defendant’s salary and expenses showed that the available funds were insufficient to maintain the plaintiff and the defendant at the standard at which they have lived thus far, which was the sad reality of divorce proceedings.

Order: An award of R6,000 per month is made for the plaintiff and R8,000 for the minor child (in addition to the medical insurance and school fees).

EKSTEEN J