Landmark ruling: Full financial disclosure required when claiming maintenance

The High Court in Johannesburg last week set a new precedent in a landmark ruling on the level of disclosure required by those who claim poverty when it comes to child maintenance but appear to live lavishly.

Johannesburg Bar advocate Liza Segal chats to Bongani Bingwa about the new ruling and what it entails.

She states that the judgment has changed the playing field in seeing justice prevail.

Read: 7 ways the new child maintenance law cracks down on defaulters

This ruling provides that a judge cannot strike out an application on the basis of prolixity alone. If the papers are too long the judge cannot say I am not listening to this case.

Liza Segal, Advocate - Johannesburg Bar

The judge either needs to strike out the irrelevant matter or make punitive costs orders because people often abuse the system by filing ridiculously long affidavits filled with irrelevant information.

Liza Segal, Advocate - Johannesburg Bar

This strikes a balance between getting to the truth and allowing facts to be placed before the courts.

Liza Segal, Advocate - Johannesburg Bar

According to Segal, the ruling also makes a provision that both parties make full and frank financial disclosure in the early stages of the application by way of an affidavit.

The affidavits are to be accompanied by Form E, a 20-page document that each spouse completes and filed seven days before the hearing.

You cant settle a case in the absence of all information, particularly the financial information, because you could potentially be compromising not only the other partner but the children as well

Liza Segal, Advocate - Johannesburg Bar

To hear the rest of the conversation, listen below:


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