House sale proceeds held for maintenance guarantee

A former husband who has been in arrears with maintenance for his two children and owes his former wife about R200 000 will not see the proceeds of the sale of his house for now as the money must be kept in a trust account to ensure he can settle his maintenance debt. This was in the recent case of RSA v RD (2980-2007) [2022] ZAGPHC.

Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) Judge Leicester Adams granted an order in favour of the former wife and ordered that once the sale of the house had been concluded, the money had to be held in the trust account of the attorneys as security for the payment of the maintenance. This is so the former wife can meanwhile calculate how much she is owed. She will then be able to turn to the court again to claim maintenance arrears. Adams said the woman would suffer irreparable harm if the court did not step in to assist her, as the property which is now being sold is her former husband’s only asset. The judge said the former husband had made it clear that the maintenance obligations were not his priority, as he first wanted to pay his family back the money, he had borrowed from them. The judge said there was a court order in place – issued when the couple obtained their divorce – and that he had to honour his obligations.

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