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24 Feb 2010

My husband filed for divorce in the north eastern divorce court. On receipt of the summons I contacted an attorney as he wanted custody. During this time we were not on speaking terms. 2 Weeks after receipt we were talking again and he verbally agreed to pay the costs which I communicated to my attorneys. He then failed to pay my attorney and my attorney withdrew. In the interim he engaged an attorney for himself. Can he do this although he filed thru the north eastern divorce court. I am left without an attorney but had to make an arrangement to pay the costs. Due to excessive abuse I had to move out of the marital home. prior to leaving my husband signed an agreement that I have the kids live with me and he has visitation rights. We also signed agreement on the movable items that we split.
Answer 390 views
Family law expert
Family law expert

01 Jan 0001

Dear Jill,
I would seriously consider bring a Rule 32 Application to force him to contribute to the costs, pending the divorce, you can do this at the Divorce Court. The Rule states:

32 Maintenance pendente lite , contribution towards costs, interim custody and access to children

(1) This rule shall apply whenever a spouse seeks relief from the court in respect of one or more of the following matters:
(a) Maintenance pendente lite ;
(b) a contribution towards the costs of a pending matrimonial action;
(c) interim custody of any child;
(d) interim access to any child.

(2) (a) The applicant shall deliver a sworn statement setting out the relief claimed and the grounds therefor, together with a notice to the respondent which shall substantially correspond with Form 6 of Annexure 2.

(b) The sworn statement and notice, signed by the applicant or his or her legal practitioner, shall contain an address for service and shall be served by the sheriff.

(3) The respondent shall within 10 court days after receiving the statement deliver a sworn reply in the nature of a plea, signed and giving an address for service, in default of which he or she shall be ipso facto barred.

(4) As soon as possible thereafter the registrar shall bring the matter before the court for summary hearing, on 10 court days' notice to the parties, unless the respondent is in default.

(5) The court may hear such evidence as is considered necessary and may dismiss the application or make such order as it thinks fit to ensure a just and expeditious decision.

(6) The court may, on the same procedure, vary the decision referred to in subrule (5) in the event of a material change taking place in the circumstances of either party or a child, or the contribution towards costs proving inadequate.

Bertus Preller
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