A husband in the throes of a bitter divorce action recently learnt the hard way that one should not play games with the Court when it comes to child or spousal maintenance. The High Court had made an interim order that he had to pay maintenance for his wife and children, pending a final divorce order.
The husband did not pay attention to the maintenance order. The wife obtained a warrant of execution and sent the sheriff to attach his savings account. Shortly before the sheriff could complete the attachment, the man withdrew all the money from his savings account.
The wife then sent the sheriff to attach the husband’s house. He got an attorney to contest the warrant. In desperation the wife then asked the court for an order that the husband must be imprisoned for contempt of the court order.
The husband pleaded poverty. However, the court made short shrift of that and found that the husband was a multi millionaire and could easily afford the maintenance.
The end result was that the court declared the husband to be in contempt of court and issued a warrant for his arrest and committal to prison if he did not pay the full amount within 24 hours.
The moral of the story: don’t play games with Court Orders.
The case reference: AG vs DG 2017 (2) SA 409 (GJ)