Rule 43 of the Uniform Court Rules provides parties involved in divorce proceedings with the opportunity to approach the court for an order granting interim relief pending the finalisation of a divorce. This rule aims to avoid any considerable prejudice to either party pending divorce.
The interim relief the applicant seeks must be related to one of the following categories:
- Maintenance pending the finalization of the divorce proceedings;
- A contribution towards the legal fees of your divorce;
- Interim care of any minor child; and
- Interim contact with any minor child.
An application in terms of Rule 43 consists of a Notice of Motion, setting out the relief prayed for by the Applicant. Annexed to the Notice of Motion, is the Applicants’ Founding Affidavit setting out the relief claimed for and the grounds thereof, together with a Notice to the Respondent.
Within 10 days of receipt of the application, the Respondent shall deliver his/her reply. Thereafter, the matter will be set down for argument, provided that both parties have received notice thereof, 10 days prior to the notice of set-down.
A contribution to the party’s legal costs may include the costs to litigate on the same level as the other party, and also costs of finalising the divorce. Interim maintenance may include maintenance to pay for interim housing, school fees, matrimonial home bond payments and medical aid.
The court will look at the financial circumstances of both the parties and will make an Order accordingly. The court will not make an Order where luxuries are asked for in the Rule 43 application, and will only make an Order for what is essential.
Should the circumstances of one of the parties change, the party whose circumstances have changed may then approach the relevant court in order to amend the Order which was made previously.
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Author – Kate Bailey – Hill