A divorce is a process undertaken to end the marital bonds or civil contract between parties. This typically involves the division of the joint estate, such as the assets which may include investments, properties, household furniture and pension funds, and arrangements regarding the housing of the children and contact for the parent with whom they will not be living with after the divorce.
The simplest, shortest and most inexpensive route to dissolve the bonds or contract is the first have a discussion with your partner and attempt to divide the aspects before approaching an attorney.
In some cases the parties may have minor disagreements about the division, where the process of mediation can attempt to resolve the issues before litigation is started.
Both the aforementioned methods are referred to as an unopposed divorce.
In this regard, our firm can assist with an unopposed divorce and be completely upfront and transparent about our total cost. Our firm specifically offers a complete comprehensive package for an unopposed divorce, excluding the external expense of the sheriff, which usually runs in the amount of R300.00. The package for an unopposed divorce is R6,000.00, should the divorce not include children, and R 6,500.00 if it involves children.
If you want to approach our firm to handle this aspect for you, you are more than welcome to contact us. In this regard our firm will request a nominal first consultation fee of R 500.00. If you decide that our firm is not the right fit for you to assist in this emotional process, this R 500.00 is non-refundable. However, if you do decide to use us for this process, this R500.00 will form part of the package, and be credited to your account, where after only R 5,500.00 will be payable in the case of a process that does not involve children, and R6,000.00 for a process that involves children. It should lastly be noted that unopposed divorces can sometimes be finalised within two months. However, in saying that, we would advise to instead have an expectation of 4 months. This is simply because the courts and processes can be unpredictable, and there can be a variety of factors that can prevent it from taking 2 months.
The other side of the coin of a divorce is an opposed divorce. These divorces are where there is no consensus in respect of the division of the estate, or arrangements regarding children. These divorces are often very expensive and prolonged. The reason for this is the procedural aspects that need to be adhered to in terms of court rules. These divorces also typically contain what is known as Rule 43 or Rule 58 applications, which are applications for interim maintenance, legal fees, living arrangements or contact with children until the divorce is finalised.
However, despite this, an opposed divorce can, and often does, become an unopposed divorce later down the line. The reasons for this chiefly comes down to two reasons, being the expenses involved and the emotional strain.
Going back to the previous reference made to rule 43 and rule 58 applications. These applications can include a contribution of legal fees. This is to say that if you are in a marriage, and the other party is the primary or sole breadwinner, and you cannot afford legal representation, this application can be brought to obtain legal fees to pay for your attorney. This will all depend on circumstances, which are evaluated on a case by case basis.
An opposed divorce may also include domestic violence applications. These applications may include financial abuse. This is to say that if you are scared that your partner may attempt to stop, or has stopped, your vehicle payments, or any other payment, just because you have or may want to institute a divorce, the Domestic Violence Court can immediately be approach to obtain an order that your partner may not stop any of these payments without first obtaining a court order to do so. If your partner contravenes this order, an arrest warrant can immediately be obtained for the contravention of the order, and a criminal charge will be brought against your partner, whereby he or she will be arrested and face a bail application.
The last two paragraphs are specifically indicative that just because your partner earns all or most of the income, you are not left defenseless.
In this regard, what our firm can provide is a cost analysis of what it may cost to take on the fight. In this regard there will be a once off fee of R500.00 for a consultation to obtain a clear picture of what may be involved. This fee is non-refundable, however, should you choose to accept our firm to walk this path with you, this R 500.00 will be added as a credit to the account.
That all being said and done, if you are not certain how your partner may respond, and you wish to see us first for a consultation, to prepare for the eventualities before speaking to your partner more fully, all the aforementioned fees will apply. There are also instances where a divorce is brought on an opposed basis, but then the other party indicates that they are happy with the terms, and while it was thought it would be an opposed divorce, it turns out to be the opposite. It cannot be over emphasised that a divorce is often an exceptionally emotional process, leading to unpredictability as to what process will be followed. The practitioners at our firm are well versed in court litigation as well as thinking on our feer, which is often required in family law matters, and you will be in good hands should you choose to walk this path with us.