Get Help from a Divorce Attorney in Pretoria

How We Can Assist You with Family Law Matters that Arise from Divorce

Divorce is extraordinarily complex. As professionals in the matter since the year 2000, we understand that legal separation from a spouse is never a one-size-fits-all mould. There is almost always one complication or another, even for couples committed to as seamless a divorce as possible. The fact is that neither side wants to be done in or settle for an unpleasant outcome.

While a favourable outcome on all sides is not always possible, it is possible to meet each other on middle ground, which is precisely where the assistance and guidance of a qualified specialist attorney comes in. Here at Riëtte Oosthuizen Attorneys, we do not only focus on the issue of divorce, but on those tricky matters that often creep up as a result of divorce too. Below, we take a look at what kind of services our Pretoria clients can expect from us.

Navigating the Murky Waters of Divorce

Whether you are fighting your divorce every step of the way or have come to accept it as the direction your marriage will take, the process is gruelling. It will demand money, energy, and time, and many individuals who go through it often find the major changes involved quite traumatic.

Having an outsider with keen insight and your best interests in mind is, therefore, quite beneficial. At Riëtte Oosthuizen Attorneys, we have compassion for these complex marital and family issues and want to help our Pretoria clients navigate the process. Our consultations are, therefore, individualised and tailored to your needs as a client, and we will deal with your case with the utmost respect and sensitivity. We are able to assist with the following:

  • • Both contested and uncontested divorce
  • • Marital regimes and the division thereof, such as marriages in community of property, out of community of property, and out of community of property with inclusion of the accrual system
  • • Valuation and distribution of marital property and assets. This includes pension funds, retirement annuities, life annuities, trusts, shares, businesses, movable assets, etc.

In terms of international divorces, matters become much more complex because of the vast differences between the laws and procedures in different countries. For a favourable outcome and the best choice of jurisdiction, it is best to seek legal advice as soon as possible. From tax issues to real estate and liabilities, we will be with you every step of the process.

The Impact of Divorce on Children

In the eyes of children who are sometimes too young to understand all the reasons divorce occurs, the process is especially distressing. Children of separating, and sometimes fighting, parents often have no healthy way of expressing emotion and thus begin to act out too. This inevitably places more strain on the entire process and both parties involved.

Then there is the question of what raising children post-divorce will look like. We believe that, ideally, parents refraining from legal battles in court on child matters is far better, and that sorting these issues out beforehand cooperatively is favourable. When it comes to our Pretoria clients, we focus on the family as a whole and what dynamics are at play. This includes applying for rights and responsibility, as well as guardianship, when it comes to stepparents, grandparents, and other close third parties.

We also represent the best interests of mothers, fathers, same-sex parents, and guardians, and take into account factors, such as parental alienation, that have a major impact on a case. We also utilise the Children’s Act 38 of 2005, the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act 108 of 1996, as well as other appropriate legislation and recent developments in the law to represent your family’s best interests.

Child Abduction

Like parental alienation, in which one parent suddenly or gradually alienates the other parent from their children, child abduction is common in the case of divorce. This often entails relocating or travelling without the express consent or permission of the other parent. Hague Convention cases are also increasing globally, where children are taken and retained across international borders. In such cases, international custody litigation must, therefore, be conducted following the Hague Convention. Swift action must be taken in such a case, as the quicker one moves in with professional counsel, the more likely the chance for the child to be returned.

Contracting in Cohabitation

While the incidence of marriage in South Africa is decreasing, cohabitation is increasing. Unfortunately, for a breakdown of a relationship in cohabiting couples, there is no separate statute to rule on such issues. Settling differences during a separation becomes difficult and archaic principles of property and trust must sometimes be applied. We recommend that all our Pretoria clients currently cohabiting set up a contracting solution in the event of a breakdown of the relationship. Not only does this save much trouble down the line but creates the feeling of certainty should the relationship end. We also aid in drafting cohabitation agreements and help couples going through a separation navigate legal issues that may arise.

Mediation: A Better Way to Do Divorce

By the time a marriage has broken down due to irreconcilable differences, it can be difficult for separating couples to reach a place of amicable agreement. Often, there is distrust and a strong need to self-protect, which means that compromises are difficult. This can lead to ugly, drawn-out divorces that take months or years to finalise, costing time, money, and emotional energy. For many couples, this is both financially and personally devastating. To avoid such instances, divorce mediation is a service we offer here at Riëtte Oosthuizen Attorneys.

Mediation is constructive and non-adversarial and is guided by an impartial third-party mediator. This mediator is trained to assist in helping divorcing couples reach mutually agreed upon settlements that work for both parties. A major benefit here is that the divorcing couple maintains control over all decisions if it can be settled out of court. It is an informal and cooperative process that requires a commitment to a favourable outcome by both parties.

Before divorce matters and family law issues become too muddled and complicated to handle alone, get advice from legal counsel that will help to sort through things quickly and efficiently. If you stay in Pretoria and you need help from experienced divorce attorneys, do not hesitate in taking that first step and contacting us for world-class legal assistance.