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What is a Rule 43 Application in Divorce Proceedings?

Updated: Jun 10, 2021

Divorce, family law, rule 43
Divorce Lawyer

You may at some point or other heard the words "rule 43 application" in the context of family law. A spouse who intends filing for a divorce, alternatively who is currently involved in divorce proceedings, can apply for interim relief to the High Court in terms of Uniform Rule 43 (alternatively, Rule 58 in the Magistrates Court) for an order granting any of the following:

-interim maintenance (including spousal and child maintenance)

- a contribution towards the legal costs of the pending divorce proceedings;

- interim custody of the children; and/or

- interim access to the children.

This application is available to a spouse who needs the interim relief pending the divorce proceedings and it is intended to be dealt with quickly in court. The reason this is available is because divorce proceedings can often be a drawn out process, and can take many years to finalise if not settled between the parties (read our article on mediation to find out the benefits of mediation in family law and divorce proceedings). In terms of asking the court to grant interim maintenance, it should be borne in mind that interim maintenance orders are in respect of necessary living expenses and not luxuries. The application can be served on the other spouse prior to the issue and service of summons or simultaneously with summons. The applicant is required to set out the relief claimed on affidavit, as well as required to make full financial disclosure of his/her financial position, as well as the funds required where interim maintenance is required or a contribution toward legal costs.

A Rule 43 order is an interim award, and cannot be appealed. The award will be implemented until the parties settle, alternatively until a divorce decree is granted. It is therefore imperative that an applicant prepares his/her papers adequately, and that a defendant substantiates his /her defence to the application, thus it is important to obtain sound legal advice and assistance when doing so.

Spence Attorneys can represent you in any regional court or High Court in South Africa in respect of any of your family law matters, including in respect of any Rule 58/ Rule 43 matters. Email (or / to instruct our firm to take your matter further.

This article is for information purposes only and should not be regarded as legal advice. Always seek advice from your legal representative. Copyright.

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