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CaseLaw
CaseLaw, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 1556
Experience:  BCom; LLB; Masters in Law
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Can I be forced to pay fees if I really cant afford to

Customer Question

Customer: Hi, Can I be forced to pay for varsity fees if I really cant afford to
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: I am paying 50 % of my net salary towards maintenance for my 2 kids, doesn't sound a lot but it is a lot for me, & now I am been threatened to pay extra for varsity which is at least another 50 k (per annum) just for my portion for my 2 kids(in terms of salary , im paying about 12,5k a month & my ex takes home about 14k
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: South Africa Law
Expert:  CaseLaw replied 1 year ago.

Hi there and thank you for your question,

I will try to assist you with your legal question but please feel free to ask as many follow up questions as you like until you are 100% satisfied.

I assume that you and your wife are divorced, and that there is a court / maintenance order requiring you to pay R12,500 a month to your ex-wife as your contribution towards your children's maintenance?

If that is the case, then surely that monthly contribution covers everything: rent, food, clothing, education, etc

If I am correct in the above assumption, then NO, your ex-wife can't force you to pay a further R50,000 per year for the varsity fees.

BUT: your ex-wife could make an application to have the court / maintenance order amended to increase your monthly requirements, which would then enable the varsity fees to be paid. That won't be an easy thing to do, especially if you explain to the court that you're currently paying 50% of your salary to your ex-wife as maintenance for your children, and you don't have the financial ability to increase your payments.

At the end of the day a court will need to decide WHAT a reasonable maintenance is, taking into account your children's actual needs, but ALSO taking into account your financial ability to pay. If you can't pay more than R12,500 per month, then a court will be VERY reluctant to make an order requiring you to pay more.

My advice is to explain to your ex-wife that there is an agreement in place which regulates the payment of your monthly maintenance, and you'll stick to that agreement, but there is NO legal basis upon which she can demand further money. If she wants further money, she must go to the maintenance court!

Just make sure that you don't sign surety with the varisty, or sign as the fee payer - otherwise the varsity could just sue you for the money and you'll then need to pay it.

If my answer hasn't answered all of your questions, please send me a REPLY with follow up questions so that I can continue to assist you in this same thread for as long as you need. Let me know if you need more advice - dont just rate my answer as "bad".

If my are HAPPY with my answer then please click one of the STAR ratings or the SMILEY FACES to rate my answer!

Good luck and best regards,

CaseLaw

Expert:  CaseLaw replied 1 year ago.

Hi there again,

I hope that you understood the above advice and that it was useful? Please leave positive feedback for me.

If you have a further question please ask it?

Regards

CaseLaw