It seems as though cases of divorce that are a consequence of a partner’s infidelity are in the spotlight again. This follows a recent case that unfolded at the Pretoria high court. A couple, married out of community of property but with accrual, was subject to a ruling by the magistrate that to some may consider unconventional nowadays.
The wife, who was involved in extramarital affairs, was found guilty of misconduct, and because of this she was ordered to forfeit some of the benefits that would be received from her husband’s estate following the finalization of the divorce. It is entirely within the court’s power to make this decision, and the reason for this ruling is to prevent a party, guilty of misconduct, from benefiting from a marriage that they were responsible for breaking.
It was put forward that the section of the Divorce Act that deals with financial benefits in the even of divorce in cases involving ‘misconduct’ was out of date and is no longer applicable in the modern sense. It was at this stage when the judge said that the woman’s counselor is allowed to challenge the Section. The challenging of the section will also involve Justice Minister and Speaker of Parliament as parties to the court case. If successfully challenged, the revision of the Section could herald great changes in future divorce cases.
It must be remembered that in cases of divorce that are a result of adultery, this has no influence on the resultant custody where children are involved. A cheating spouse may in fact be a very good parent, and the reasons for divorce should have little impact on their ability to co-parent or be awarded visitation rights. Adultery has no bearing on the settlements in a child contact and care agreement.
If you seek an experienced and adept attorney in cases involving child custody and other matters of family law, then make sure that you contact Ivan Zartz Attorneys today!