MAINTENANCE :  THE HAVENGA CLAUSE
 
The Havenga Clause refers to the matter of Havenga v Havenga 1988 (2) SA 438 (T) and is applicable in maintenance matters.
 
According to Section 6(1)(b) of the Maintenance Act, Act 99 of 1998 the party bringing the application for the substitution or discharge of an existing maintenance order must show that “good cause” exist for the substitution or discharge.
 
The general rule in maintenance matters is that, in the absence of a real change in circumstances (which will prove the “good cause”), there will not be sufficient reason for the variation or rescission of a maintenance order.
 
The original Havenga clause was included in the deed of settlement of the parties involved in divorce proceedings and made provision for the following:
 
The parties could not agree on the amount maintenance payable by the husband to the wife;
  • That pending the decision of the Maintenance Court as to the exact amount of maintenance payable the husband will remain paying maintenance to the wife in the amount of R X per month and
  • That both parties would be entitled to apply to a Maintenance Court, 
  • That it would not be necessary for the parties to prove any change in circumstances prior to such an application being brought.
 
Furthermore in the Havenga matter it was held that “changed circumstances” are not a statutory requirement and that there may sometimes be sufficient reason although circumstances have not changed.

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