Interim Maintenance

Rule 43 of the Uniform Rules of the High Court and Rule 58 of the Magistrate’s Court Rules provide for interim relief pending divorce proceedings being finalised. If you or your spouse has instituted divorce proceedings, whether you have children or not, either you or your spouse can apply to the court for an interim order for maintenance for yourself and the children and for care and contact arrangements in respect of any minor children.

The legal procedure
Rule 43/58 proceedings are regarded as urgent and, accordingly, very specific rules apply to such matters. The applicant launches the proceedings by serving a short affidavit (sworn statement) on the respondent setting out the relief sought and the grounds upon which such relief is sought. The respondent then has ten court days in which to serve his/her sworn reply, setting out the reasons for opposition to the relief sought by the applicant. In such proceedings, the sworn statements of both parties should not be more than 20 pages each, plus annexures which will assist the court to come to a decision.

Once the period of ten days has expired, the applicant can approach the registrar of the court for a date on the unopposed roll. Such proceedings are generally heard within three weeks. Once an order is granted, such order remains in place until the divorce is finalised or it set aside or amended by the court upon application by one of the parties.

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