A Cape Town man who co-owns a house with his ex-wife approached the Western Cape High Court because he wanted to sell his share of the house to his ex-wife.
The pair got married in April 2001 in accordance with Shariah Islamic Law and terminated their marriage in November 2018 under the same law.
Before their divorce, they bought a house together in Goodwood, Cape Town, and lived with their four children.
Pursuant to the divorce, the man agreed to pay R20,055 towards the children’s maintenance and upkeep, the pair also concluded that they would continue to co-own the property so that they could maintain stability for the children.
Their agreement went further to state that the property would be inherited by their children in the event of their deaths.
The husband contributes R6,000 towards the bond, and the wife settles the balance by paying R3,900 and also paying R3,800 for utilities.
However, sometime in November 2021, the ex-husband approached his ex-wife and asked her to buy his portion.
The ex-wife refused and told her former partner to approach the court, which he did.
In his application, he said he wants the court to terminate the joint ownership of the property and also direct the method of disposal.
The ex-wife refused and said the agreement they made after divorce was binding.
She said the termination of the agreement would cause severe prejudice to her and the children.
“The applicant (husband) was always well aware that I would not be able to financially afford alternative accommodation; that is still the case,” she said.
Acting judge Jamie said he will approach all arguments in line with the principles that were applied when the couple was getting a divorce.
This was in reference to the Muslim Judicial Council.
“As I have already found, the primary purpose of the divorce agreement, insofar as the property was concerned, was clearly aimed at providing a safe and stable environment for the children.”
He said the parties clearly intended their relationship post-divorce to be regulated by the divorce agreement.
“In my view, while the co-ownership of the property prior to the divorce was also a bound one, in accordance with the Shariah rules of the marriage between them, it remains so after the divorce,” said the judge.
The judge dismissed the application and ordered the husband to pay the costs.