When Mandy and I split up; I moved out of the family home and immediately started paying maintenance to help Mandy with the support of our two children. Divorce was pending but I wanted to do this willingly and not wait until it was made an order of court.
I was determined to do my part to keep things as normal as possible for the sake of the kids and because of this I went back to the family house at least three evenings every week – sometimes more - and also spent a large part of the weekend either at the house or taking the kids for an outing.
Things were still tense between Mandy and me, and she started going out on the evenings when I went over there. I thought it was a good thing for her to go out with her girlfriends. I even spent some time daydreaming that she might change her mind and want to get our marriage back on track.
I was paying Mandy about half of my salary but I made the adjustments in my living standards – after all I knew Mandy wouldn’t claim more money than she actually needed, and I wanted our kids to be well provided for. However, when she demanded even more money I was surprised – but I paid anyway because I didn’t want to come across as the villain.
A few weeks later, suddenly Mandy was looking stunning. She was dressing in new outfits, sporting bright new make-up, and her hair had been specially styled. Of course, I should have realised that the reason she was taking extra special care with her appearance was the fact that after only a couple of months of us separating, she was dating again. I was blown away; stunned; and miserable. My world caved in on me, but at least I still had the children in my life.
I went to see Attorneys who told me that I would have to pay in the end. Unfortunately they didn’t know how to apply the correct equation to calculate the amounts – they didn’t even know that there was such a thing.
Then she asked for even more money and I couldn’t believe my ears. This time I flatly refused and told her that I felt insulted that she’d even tried. She told me that if I didn’t pay, I’d never see our kids again.
I was in shock and confused and really needed to talk to someone. My concentration at work lapsed and after a while my work was really suffering. My relationships with my colleagues, friends and family also took a dive. The need to talk was suffocating me and I was getting irritated because nobody knew anything. My Attorneys were of no help. I paid their bill and took my file away. My family were all full of advice but it was like they were using me to fight their own battles. My friends were very supportive of me and critical of her but of no real help. What I needed was a Specialist – an authority on the subject.
Eventually I went to the Maintenance Attorneys at Martin Vermaak Attorneys and they were amazing. They put me straight, right away and showed me that according to the correct calculations I was paying far too much. They also told me that my wife was not allowed to blackmail me by stopping me from seeing the kids unless I paid a steep amount of maintenance.
We got divorced a while ago. The correct amount of maintenance was calculated and set down in the Court Order. I still pay a little bit more and, if the kids need something extra I’m always willing to pitch in and help financially. However, these days I know where I stand thanks to the Maintenance Attorneys at Martin Vermaak Attorneys. What’s more, whenever anything crops up that I’m uncertain about, I go back to the Maintenance Attorneys and get their expert advice. People say that experts are expensive. I disagree. Not going to an expert nearly ruined me financially.