The Divorce Process: Where to Start and What to Do

Divorce can be an emotionally taxing and frightening process and knowing where to start can feel overwhelming or even impossible. The breakdown of any marriage is understandably one of the most challenging things a person can experience, and this is usually coupled with many pressing questions. Do you need an attorney? Can you amicably negotiate the proceedings between yourselves? What if there are children involved or shared assets and property? Can you even afford to get divorced? If you are feeling daunted by the prospect of starting proceedings and need to know where to start, the following can help you to plan the process.The first two steps when you start, include these considerations:

Consult the Professionals and Enhance Your Understanding

    1) Is a DIY Divorce Possible?

    This is the first thing you’ll want to consider. Doing it yourself is more affordable than hiring attorneys. However, it only really works in simple cases where there are no children involved, and the two parties are married out of community of property and without an accrual. In such an instance, a so-called DIY divorce might work. However, we usually do not advise it as there are certain loopholes and legalities that can easily be missed. If you choose to do it yourself, you’ll still need to go to court and do all the administrative duties yourself.

    2) Knowing What Kind of Divorce It Is

    If you are unable to manage the process yourself, you will need to consult with an attorney who specialises in divorce and family law. This is important if there are children or financial assets in the mix. Once you have spoken to them and your ex-partner, you’ll have clarity on whether the proceedings will be contested, uncontested, or mediated. In brief summary, this means the following

    • • Uncontested: Both parties agree to the same stipulations regarding childcare, the division of assets, maintenance, property, and finances. This is the easiest type of divorce as there is no conflict at play. 
    • • Contested: In this instance, there is usually a great deal of animosity between the two parties and disagreement with regard to assets, finances, children, and property occur. This process can be emotionally taxing and drag out. In such a case, it is paramount that an experienced attorney is involved. 
    • • Mediated: This type of divorce is seen as a middle ground between the other two types of divorce and works if both parties can discuss problems amicably. This is done alongside a mediator or an attorney. 

    Chat with Our Team Today; We Know Where to Start

    If you are embarking on the divorce process and do not know where to start, it is a good idea to chat with the professionals. The team at Riëtte Oosthuizen Attorneys has over two decades of experience, and we understand the complexity and sensitivity of such proceedings. Knowing where to start when it comes to the divorce process is a huge challenge to many of our clients, however, we’ll utilise our knowledge and experience to walk you through the proceedings with confidence and ease.