Divorce Attorney Consultation

Why a Consultation with a Specialised Attorney Might Be Your Best Shot at a Smooth Divorce

It is quite rare to hear someone state that their split from their spouse was easy or hassle-free. Divorce is seldom a straightforward scenario, even if both parties fully agree to the terms and how best to move forward. There is still a degree of emotional intensity and baggage that comes along with divorcing one’s partner, and making decisions with a clear head and impartiality is not always possible. The most unproblematic course of action, then, is to set up a divorce attorney consultation to not only help you work through the legal jargon but to pave a way forward through the often-messy conflict ahead.

South Africa and Divorce

There has been an uptick in couples who opt for divorce in recent years, and between 2012 and 2016 the country saw a 5% increase in divorce, while the percentage of couples getting married seemed to fall. This is due to reasons such as partners living together without getting married or the number of individuals who are able to take better care of themselves financially after getting divorces without the fear of financial ruin.

More people now than ever before also have access to divorce attorneys and making an appointment for a consultation is the easiest it has ever been. South Africa has a “no-fault” system of divorce which means that either one or both parties in the marriage must believe there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage with no reasonable way to mend the relationship. The court is the only entity who can dissolve a legal marriage, and the party filing for divorce must be able to prove that the couple is no longer able to resolve any differences together. Factors that play into acceptable grounds for divorce include:

  • The couple no longer love each other.
  • Infidelity or adultery (where one or both spouses cheat on the other).
  • Abuse – whether in the form of assault, domestic violence, or cruelty. Abuse in any form, be it physical, sexual, psychological, or even financial is grounds for divorce.
  • A couple that has been separated for a long time or has lived apart.
  • One partner has suffered from a mental illness that has led to being institutionalised for over two years without a sign of improvement or recovery.

 

Why DIY Divorces Might Cost You More Than You Think

Some couples feel that they would rather save money than book a consultation with a divorce attorney, and this is perfectly understandable. They would prefer not to spend on something they feel can be done by themselves and often skimp out on professional advice in favour of something quicker and easier. The downside to a do-it-yourself divorce, however, is that couples in the process of dissolving their marriage often do not see eye to eye and fail to consider the legal implications surrounding topics like children, finances, and assets.

For this to happen smoothly, the couple must amicably agree on all the major terms of the divorce, which rarely happens without tension – even in uncontested divorces. This option is, in the end, cheaper and faster, but does mean that unfair compromises are sometimes made and that one or both parties might end up on the losing side of the terms if they do not seek professional counsel.

Contested Divorces: An Expert Attorney is Best

Contested or “opposed” divorces are quite common. Plenty of factors that are intrinsically tied to marriage are the reason why many spouses cannot seem to find common ground in terms of the process without an attorney or mediator present. Then there are the various stages and processes involved that couples often find stressful, and even more so without professional legal support. These stages include initial pleadings, applying for a trial date which the court then allocates, the discovery of documents and further details and evidence, and the pre-trial conference to consider a settlement. All this occurs before the actual trial and judgment are passed down from the court. As you can see, the process is exceptionally stressful, and it is for this reason that a consultation with a divorce attorney alleviates much of the confusion, frustration, and anxiety surrounding the legalities of divorce.

Tackling a divorce on one’s own means a greater chance of mistakes happening, not only because the legal system is so hard to navigate, but because elevated emotions make it difficult to assess the situation objectively. Expert attorneys are an invaluable resource in representing one’s own best interests.

How Our Divorce Services Can Help You

Established in the year 2000, our team at Riëtte Oosthuizen Attorneys have years of experience when it comes to navigating the murky waters of a marriage ending. We understand that going through a divorce is a traumatic period of change in one’s life, and that it can affect everything from finances to mental health. This often-painful process can become exceptionally complicated, and we aim to act as a beacon of support for every client seeking our help. No matter your family’s circumstances, we will act with the highest sensitivity as well as empathy, and help to devise a personalised solution to enable the best possible outcome.

We handle complex issues when it comes to the dissolution of marriage such as: 

  • Contested and uncontested divorce.
  • Mediation.
  • Divorces for same-sex couples.
  • Issues arising during pending divorce settlements like Rule 43 applications (such as interim maintenance and/or the residence and custody of children), or applications regarding domestic violence.
  • Marital regimes regarding marriage both in and out of community of property, and those out of community of property with inclusion of the accrual system.
  • The valuation, division, and distribution of marital property and/or assets. These assets include pension funds, annuities, trusts and shares, businesses, investments, movable assets, and many more.
  • Matters relating to the children of the couple and the Children’s Act 38 of 2005. This covers parental responsibilities like care, guardianship, residence, and maintenance payments. We handle more challenging issues too, such as parental alienation, national and international relocation of the children, and the rights of grandparents or adults closely involved with the children.

 

When it comes to family law, you can trust us to handle your case with care as we work towards the benefit of yourself and those you care for most. We strive for deftly and efficiently negotiated resolutions and our clients benefit greatly from our expertise. To book a consultation with a divorce attorney that cares, take that first step of courage and contact us today.