THOUGHT OF THE WEEK To appeal interim relief (Rule 43) in divorce matters
A ”Rule 43 application” is an application for interim (provisional) relief in divorce matters. It allows a party to a divorce to seek interim relief from the court in respect of maintenance, care and contact with a child and a contribution towards his/her legal costs.
Were such an interim order to be appealed, the Rule 43 Order would effectively be put on hold pending the outcome of the appeal. One consequence would be that if any maintenance provisions were included in the order, these could not be enforced (yet). This would clearly be to the detriment of the child and the person in whose favour the award was made.
In the recent judgement of S v S, the Constitutional Court found that section 16(3) of the Superior Courts Act, which prohibits an appeal against a Rule 43 Order, does not infringe any constitutional rights of a party. Rather, allowing such an appeal would contradict the purpose of such an application.