Legal Articles and Guides
Would you like a qualified Lawyer to assist you with your Divorce Law question today? Do you need advice regarding your divorce, maintenance, child support, access to your child, interim maintenance pending a divorce, or any other Family Law concern? Would you like a qualified Lawyer to assist you with your Divorce Law question today?
Arguments to have the Muslim Marriages Bill made law finally started in the Western Cape High Court yesterday. A Cape Times report says the Women’s Legal Centre (WLC) has brought President Jacob Zuma, Parliament, the departments of Home Affairs, Justice and Correctional Services to court to have Muslim marriages recognised with the passing of the Bill. The WLC is arguing that by not recognising Muslim marriages under common law, Muslim women are not afforded legal protection and do not have access to the courts to assert their rights.
The customary marriage issue is to be argued in the Constitutional Court today. The matter has been brought by Thokozani Maphumulo, the second wife of her husband, Musawenkosi, for 25 years until his death. In his will he left his entire estate to his eldest born son from his first wife. In 2015, two years after he died, she was served with an eviction notice and she became another victim of an unregulated customary marriage system, notes a News24 report.
One of SA’s highest profile divorces has taken a new twist, notes a report in the Sunday Times. The woman is claiming their antenuptial contract is invalid because they entered into a customary marriage, which started at Nkandla, before their civil marriage. Should the judge agree with her claim, she will get half of her husband’s substantial estate, which is believed to include a private jet, various high-end properties, interests in eight companies and several luxury vehicles.
In South Africa there are only 3 possible marital systems for couples who are getting married to chose from. They are: (i) A marriage in community of property; (ii) A marriage out of community of property; or (iii) A marriage out of community of property but with the accrual. The choice between the 3 marital systems is very important since it will govern how your assets and liabilities (debts) will be dealt with, not only between the two of you, but also between you and other people.
A mother – owed R175 000 in unpaid interim maintenance from her estranged husband – was forced to go to the High Court to get an order compelling the sheriff to obey a court instruction to attach money in his bank account, says a report in The Mercury. The office of the sheriff had refused for months to act on an order issued by the Regional Magistrate’s Court on 1 June this year.
Generally, our laws hold us to the agreements we make with each other, but there are limits. A recent High Court judgment dealing with a bitterly-fought divorce dispute, illustrates. A Senior Advocate, having been through in his words a "very, very, very costly" divorce once, and having in mind no doubt the old proverb "once bitten, twice shy", decided not to be bitten again when he re-married.
A divorce summons issued in Sepedi is not an everyday occurrence in the courts, but a couple are demanding their court documents be issued in their mother tongue, notes a Cape Times report. Their lawyer, Tshepo Sebola, of Maluleke Seriti Makhume Matlala Inc, said since Sepedi is one of the 11 official languages it was his clients’ right to have summons issued in their language.
Women who leave their marriages destitute because of the government’s failure to recognise their Muslim nuptials will today ask the Western Cape High Court to rescue them, says a report in The Herald. The Women’s Legal Centre said it was litigating in the public interest because the lack of recognition of such marriages affected women and children in particular.
After 10 years of litigation, the lobola conundrum is set to head to the SCA. Joburg City Theatres CEO Xoliswa Nduneni-Ngema’s lengthy battle for half of wealthy businessman Sifiso Dabengwa’s estate was dealt yet another blow last week when the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) dismissed her application for leave to appeal, says a Sunday Times report. They would take the matter to the SCA, said Ike Motloung, Nduneni-Ngema’s lawyer.
A woman who says her â€˜husbandâ€™ gave her the impression that they were legally married for several years now has the go-ahead to attach some of his assets, the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) has ordered. According to a Beeld report, Michelle van Tonder, from Secunda, obtained a final order against former lover Patrick John Fann. The court authorised the sheriff to attach money in Fannâ€™s Absa account to the value of R345 000 and pay it over to Van Tonder.
A senior advocate snared a â€˜trophy wifeâ€™ 25 years his junior, got her pregnant then forced her to sign a contract the day before their wedding barring her from claiming maintenance if the marriage broke down. Then, says a Sunday Times report quoting Acting Judge Leslie Weinkove, he â€˜systematically divested his estate of assetsâ€™ with the â€˜calculated objective of placing them beyond his wifeâ€™s reachâ€™.
A woman married in community of property was not entitled to half her wealthy husbandâ€™s assets as the marriage had lasted only 20 months, the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) has ruled.
An unusual case of polyandry – a woman with more than one husband – is before the KZN High Court (Durban) in an application in which the woman is trying to get maintenance from her most recent ‘husband’ who is arguing that – unbeknown to him – she was still married to someone else. The Mercury reports the matter came before the court as a ‘Rule 43’ application which, in terms of the Marriages Act, entitles separated spouses to claim maintenance before the finalisation of their divorces. The case involves an unregistered Islamic marriage which is not covered by the Act. However, last year a judge awarded what was believed to be the first interim maintenance order in an Islamic divorce case which was seen as precedent-setting.
The Mthatha High Court has dismissed the appeal of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela who had laid claim to the Qunu home of former President Nelson Mandela. The court also ordered Madikizela-Mandela to pay the cost of the application, according to a report on The Citizen site. She filed an appeal in April after losing an earlier bid to lay claim to Madiba’s Qunu home in the Eastern Cape. Madikizela-Mandela’s lawyer Mvuzo Notyesi reportedly said they would now petition the SCA.
A recent Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) decision underlines the very strong duty on SAPS members to assist victims of domestic violence. The Domestic Violence Act (â€œdomestic violenceâ€ isnâ€™t limited to cases of physical harm â€“ it includes a very wide range of abusive conduct) provides legal protection to victims, especially to those most vulnerable such as women, children, disabled people and the elderly. If you are a victim (or helping a victim) the Police are obliged to assist and cannot shirk their responsibilities.
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