Question posted in the Divorce Law category relating to Gauteng
I have devorced my wife.
We came to an agreement for alimony, but this was forced by her because she blackmailed me by telling me that she will tell my boss I have an afair, and ruin my name. Scared that I might loose my job and the conciquinces, I signed and agreed to the termes and conditions. I pay a huge amount per month to her, and it escalates yearly by 10%. The amount at the moment is about R25000-00.
We where married for only 6 years, and I have paid now for 3 years.
How can I fight this?
Is there someone you can recommend that can fight this battle for me. I am willing to pay for consultations but I have to do this over Skype or Zoom as I am not in South Africa at the moment.
Information Requested by Lawyer
Hi there and thank you for your question,
I am a practicing attorney based in South Africa and I will assist you with your question. Please feel free to ask as many follow up questions in order to clarify your question. If you have a new question, you must please open a new thread.
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Do you mind if I take a moment to review your question? I will come back to you shortly!
Information Requested by Lawyer
Can you confirm my understanding that the agreement as to the maintenance amount was recorded in a settlement agreement which was made an order of court when you got divorced?
Were you divorced in the High Court? If so, which one?
How old are you currently, and how old is your ex-wife currently?
I am assuming that the maintenance which you must pay to your ex-wife is until her death or re-marriage?
Information provided by client
We where divorced in the regional court in George.
I am 49 years and my ex-wife is 50 years.
Yes, correct, that is correct, until death or re-marraige.
Answer to the Question
Okay, so you really do have two choices here -
1) Apply to the High Court to set aside the Settlement Agreement on the basis that you were blackmailed into signing it by your ex-wife and that it is not a true reflection of what you would have agreed to. This is a difficult route to take because you would be basically un-doing your divorce, and then you would (I assume) be married again, and then you would need to get re-divorced on different terms. You would also need to explain to the court why you felt compelled to sign the Settlement Agreement based on the blackmail, and why you felt that you didn't have any other choice. This is hard!
2) Apply to the Maintenance Court in George for a discharge/variation to the maintenance obligation. i.e. you either was to pay nothing or you want to pay less for maintenance. This will need to be based on BOTH (a) your ability to pay maintenance (i.e. you can't afford it anymore, or you can't afford it to the same degree); and also (b) your ex-wife's need for maintenance (i.e. she has her own money, or she works, or doesn't need that much money anymore).
I think what you need to do is to follow the second route proposed. It might be hard to get out of paying any maintenance, but you would certainly be able to reduce it substantially!