Rule 43 of the Uniform Rules as well as Rule 58 of the Magistrates Court Rules are mechanisms which provides for a spouse in divorce proceedings with the opportunity to approach the court for an order granting interim relief pending the conclusion of their divorce.

Rule 43 is applicable in the following instances:

  1.  Where interim spousal and child maintenance are needed;
  2. Interim care and contact of a minor child;
  3. Enforcement of certain payments towards the other spouse and/or the child/ children, such as payment on medical aid premiums, insurance premiums , bond payments, vehicle payments,  payments towards a deposit for relocation, school fees, etc; and
  4. An order for contribution towards  legal costs of the other spouse

The applicant must be able to proof that he/she is unable to afford to pay certain debts/obligations which she/he was used to during the existence of the marriage and that the respondent is in a better position to contribute financially and/or otherwise towards the debts/obligations pending the finalisation of the divorce proceedings.

Emphasis must be placed on the fact that the test for interim relief in terms of Rule 43 during divorce proceedings is different to the test for maintenance sought after a divorce action.

On 18 September 2023, the High Court in Johannesburg delivered a landmark Judgement in the matter  between “RB vs SAER”  for the interim relief of a Muslim marriage.

The court ordered the husband to:

  • Continue to cover the wife under her existing medical aid scheme;
  • Attend to payment of the wife’s car insurance and tracking system of her vehicle;
  • Pay to the wife a monthly maintenance of R10 000.00, commencing as from 15 October 2023;
  • The costs of the application to stand over as part of the costs in the divorce action

Zelda Damons – 4 October 2023