Cape Town Man Fails to Pay Maintenance for 25 Years, SCA Slaps Him With a R3.5 Million Bill

Cape Town Man Fails to Pay Maintenance for 25 Years, SCA Slaps Him With a R3.5 Million Bill

  • A man has to fork out over R3 million after he failed to pay spousal support and child support for more than 20 years
  • The ex-hubby tried to approach the Cape Town High Court and later the Supreme Court of Appeal in an attempt to forgo paying the money he owed
  • The courts ended ruling in favour of the man's former wife and their two children and his case was thrown out

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CAPE TOWN - A man has been slapped with a R3 million tab after he continuously failed to pay maintenance since divorcing his wife over 20 years ago.

The Supreme Court of Appeal ordered the man who did not follow the order to pay maintenance for 25 years to pay this amount after ruling that the maintenance orders would no longer expire in three years as stipulated by the Prescription Act, but after 30 years.

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Supreme Court of Appeal, judgement, R3 million, unpaid maintenance, divorce, 25 years, Cape Town High Court, Simon Arcus, Jill Arcus
A man tried to avoid paying over R3 million he owed in maintenance. Image: Getty Images/Stock
Source: Getty Images

The man in question, Simon Arcus, and his former wife, Jill Arcus, divorced in 1993. Upon the divorce, Simon and Jill signed a consent paper that mandated Simon to financially support his former wife on a monthly basis until Jill either remarried or died, according to News24.

Simon also agreed to pay child support for his two kids, who were minors at the time, until they were able to support themselves. The consent document which Simon and Jill both signed eventually became a court order.

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For 25 years, Simon did not pay his wife alimony or child support and his children were able to support themselves financially in 2000 and 2005. During the years Simon was not paying maintenance, Jill did not approach the relevant courts to have the maintenance order enforced and only did so in 2018.

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Jill's lawyers told Simon that he needed to pay R3.5 million for the 25 years of unpaid maintenance; however, Simon refused and stated that he would only begin to pay Jill monthly payments and not what was owed.

Simon then approached the Maintenance Court and tried to have himself absolved from paying the amount Jill had been requesting for the years of unpaid maintenance. But Jill was granted a court order that stated that Simon's assets should be sold off to pay her for the money owed.

This is when Simon approached the Cape Town High Court with a bid stating that under the Prescription Act, he was no longer liable to pay the money owed because his ex-wife failed to enforce the order.

Simon's application was thrown out and stated that a maintenance order only expires after 30 years. Simon then approached the SCA and the appeal court concurred with the Cape Town High Court judgement.

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Acting Justice Smith stated that allowing for a 30-year prescription period for maintenance orders would protect vulnerable people such as women and minor children.

Court orders father of 2 to pay R2 million in divorce settlement, R88k in monthly maintenance

Briefly News previously reported that in a divorce case, the Johannesburg High Court has ruled in favour of a woman who is a qualified teacher but gave up her career prospects to become a homemaker.

She was married to a man (only identified as Mr JC in court papers) and they had two children during their marriage. The wife stayed at home to take care of their children and the home and asked the court to properly compensate her.

According to IOL, the court ordered Mr JC to pay his soon-to-be ex-wife R2 million on 1 October and after that, he has to pay her approximately R88k per month for the maintenance of herself and their children. The monthly amount does not include school fees or medical expenses that he still needs to cover.

Source: Briefly News

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