My Spouse Can’t Touch My Assets! They Are In A Trust

In March 2017, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) dealt with the question as to whether the value of certain assets of a trust may be taken into account when determining the spouse’s accrual claim. The aim of this article is to give a short and simple explanation as to how the courts are viewing alter ego trust. An alter ego trust is where it can be shown that assets, seemingly belonging to the trust were in fact the property of the trustee in question. In other words, the trust was merely the trustees alter ego. Now, a spouse can ‘pierce...

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I’m Engaged. What Does This Legally Mean?

Last week, I was at a dinner party, when I heard a recently engaged young lady say to her fiancé, “you can’t leave me now, we are engaged and I can sue you for the lifestyle with which I am accustomed.” Legally, what she meant was that, she had a claim for damages for future financial losses expected from the marriage. My immediate reaction was to giggle at how naïve some women can be about their legal rights but instead I politely shock my head and, to her shock and horror, corrected her as to where she legally currently stood. In...

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The End To Claims Against The Adulterous Party

I recently read an article by my family law university lecturer, Professor Marita Carnelley, called “The impact of the abolition of the third party delictual claim for adultery by the Constitutional Court in DE v RH (CCT 182/14) [2015] ZACC 18”. In her article she discusses the impact of the recent Constitutional Court (CC) judgement where the courts decided to abolish the third-party claim for adultery. The CC had to decide whether a non-adulterous spouse had a claim against an adulterous third party for insult to their self-esteem and loss of comfort and society of the adulterous spouse. In coming to...

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Single Parents Paying School Fees

Late last year, the Supreme Court of Appeal gave clarity to single primary care giving parents, with unfair financial burdens, who seek school fee exemptions. In the case of Western Cape Education Department and Others v Michelle Saffer, the legal issue of whether or not both parents are required to produce both their incomes when a single parent applies for an exemption of school fees was laid to rest. Below is a summary of the case; Saffer, a divorced mother, was unable to pay, in full, her daughters High School fees and applied for an exemption. The form which she had to complete...

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Parental Rights

And Responsibilities   Family matters can be very difficult and emotional – especially when there are children involved. We advise all parents should know their rights and responsibilities. “It is a common misconception amongst divorced and single parents that if one parent does not contribute towards the maintenance of the child that parent cannot have contact and access with the child. This is not true. In fact, contact and access and monetary issues are completely separate – one is a right and the other a responsibility and obligation. Know Your Rights & Responsibilities Parents should know their rights and be willing to fight for...

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