The truth about marriage and divorce
When you divorce, depending on your financial situation and what regime you are married by, it is possible to sue your ex-husband for spousal maintenance, which is completely separate to child maintenance.
According to the law, biological parents are financially obligated to contribute to their child's welfare, whether the child was conceived in or out of marriage.
Spousal maintenance on the other hand is only applicable to married couples but it is not always guaranteed.
"The courts will look at how long you've been together and the circumstances of your case. if you've been married for a very brief period and are quite young, you are not going to receive maintenance," explains Jacqueline Ellis of Jacqueline Ellis Attorneys.
"If you were married for a long time and never worked throughout the marriage and he supported you, you will get what is called rehabilitative maintenance because the court understands it will take you a while to get a job."
The time period for rehabilitative maintenance is dependent on each case. where maintenance is granted your ex can stipulate how long or under what conditions he'll continue to pay you.
"Some lawyers include a clause that say the payment will stop if you cohabit with someone or get married again," says Ellis.
Source: Stats SA and Jacqueline Ellis (Jacqueline Ellis Attorneys)