Question posted in the Divorce Law category relating to Western Cape
IAM just wanting to ask a question regarding my settlement agreement - I have given my wife half of everything which totals R1.2 million - she is going to build a House as she has already purchased a plot in Plettenberg Bay - she is renting presently and IAM paying a portion of her rent - the settlement agreement says nothing of this rental which has been utilised to make up the monthly maintenance fee - I have left her enough money to go on with her life - once she builds her own house am I still liable to pay a portion of the rental even though she is no longer renting?
The agreement which I have not signed also states that the amounts we agreed to go up by 10% every year - is this the norm?
Your views would be greatly appreciated.
IAM presently unemployed - the maintenance fee is R7600 + R3700 rent and they come to a total of R11300 monthly with a 10% increase every year.
Information Requested by Lawyer
Hi there Anthony and thank you for your question,
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Answer to the Question
If the settlement agreement does NOT make provision for you to continue paying the monthly rental (whether she is renting a place or not - it doesn't matter) then there is no legal obligation on you to continue making those payments.
If your settlement agreement makes provision for some sort of monthly maintenance payments, then that will be all that you need to pay.
Normally, a settlement agreement would record that the monthly payments must increase each year by an amount equal to CPI - the consumer price index. That is the norm; not 10%; and not a percentage.
If the economy increases each year at 10%, and your payments must increase at 10%, then fine.
But what if the economy increases each year at 1%, and your payments must increase at 10%, then that's really not fine because you are paying more and more and more!
You should definitely get this changed to CPI.
"The maintenance payments by Plaintiff as referred to in paragraph xxx above shall increase on the anniversary date of the divorce being granted, each year following the granting of the final order of divorce, in accordance with such rise as has occurred in the Consumer Price Index in respect of South Africa (as notified by Statistics SA, from time to time) for the preceding 12 month period, the first such increase to be effective on the first anniversary date of the divorce being granted."
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