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September 06, 2004

Court orders wife to pay maintenance to husband

A former church minister has successfully sued his high-earning wife for ‘maintenance’. Port Elizabeth estate agent Genevieve Behrens will have to pay her estranged husband, Robin, R1 450 a month, pending their divorce, reports The Herald. Mrs Behrens opposed the order for maintenance on the grounds that her husband was unwilling to secure a steady job and preferred ‘sleeping with a pillow over his head’ until midday every day, while she had to be up from 6am fixing the children’s lunches, dropping them off at school and then still having to work a 10-hour day. While admitting she received a good salary – about R40 000, according to Mr Behrens – she said if the court was to order her to maintain her husband, it would ‘simply encourage him to continue with his leisurely lifestyle without making any effort to support himself’. Before handing down judgment, Acting Judge Elna Revelas referred to the case as ‘unusual’, adding that she did not want to make a ruling that would ‘create a precedent’.

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