Divorce Lawyers: When to Get One

Divorce is not something a couple plans on when they first enter into a civil union; however, people and circumstances change. In South Africa, divorce can be indicated and completed on the grounds of:

  • Differences that have resulted in an irreparable union.
  • A spouse who is suffering from a mental illness.
  • A spouse that is continuously unconscious (otherwise known as a coma).

A divorce can easily become a complex and lengthy process. A factor that can contribute to this, is the marriage regime into which the couple entered into. These regimes consist of marriage in Community of Property, and a Prenuptial Agreement, with or without accrual.

Depending on how complex the divorce is, it might not be necessary to employ a divorce lawyer; however, this is not often the case.

Divorce Lawyers Cost in South Africa

When it comes to divorce, pricing can differ dramatically. Depending on the type of divorce, whether the divorce is taken to the Regional Court or High Court, and the lawyer’s fees, all determine the financial implication that a divorce can have on the spouses going through this process.

Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce refers to a divorce where both parties agree to the divorce. These divorces are typically reasonably amicable, due to the cooperation of both parties. In an uncontested divorce, one lawyer is consulted by both parties to achieve an agreement. This type of divorce is usually concluded in a time frame of four to six weeks, depending on the Court’s availability. It is also a cost-effective option and is the advised path for those going through the divorce process.

Uncontested divorce types include:

  • DIY Divorce: a DIY divorce is a form of uncontested divorce that does not require a lawyer. All you need is an online divorce service or the correct forms that can be collected from the local magistrate’s court. This option requires a lot of administrative duties for both parties and is only advised to those with a very simple case. Examples include marriages that don’t include children, that do not have a large amount of assets to divide, or if you have not been married for an extensive period of time.
  • Default Divorce: a default divorce occurs when a summons has been served on the respective spouse, and they have not answered within the allotted number of days (10 days if both parties live in the same province, and 20 days if the parties involved live in different provinces). If an answer has not been received, the divorce will move forward and be concluded. It is advisable to contact your respective spouse if they do not respond, as they can contest the divorce on the grounds of not receiving the summons, or having good reason not to respond. Both parties can also pre-emptively agree to a default divorce if so desired.

Contested Divorce

A contested divorce is where the process can become budget-heavy and time-consuming. A contested divorce occurs when one spouse disputes the reason for divorce, or if the parties involved cannot agree to the proposed divorce terms. The process can take between two to three years to resolve, and the case needs to appear in a competent Court. Both parties will need to employ a lawyer. A contested divorce can be resolved before the trial, at a pre-trial conference.

Divorce Lawyers Near Me

It is advisable to appoint a lawyer when going through a divorce. Although it may incur additional costs, there is no chance that one party (that might have more legal knowledge) will overpower the other. It will also lessen the amount of administration duties, and allow you to focus on dissolving the marriage amicably (if possible). To find out more about divorce and how you can ensure that you, your spouse, and your children (if you have any) go through this transition smoothly, contact our team.  

who are we?
We strongly stand by our clients, no matter what they are going through. Our ability to offer the highest quality service is something we take much pride in, ensuring that we offer our clients only the best there is.

We take pride in our history but also focus on the future, the relationships we have built and are busy building. This makes us dynamic and client orientated, after all that is what you are looking for when selecting an attorney, someone that puts your interests before their own.
Contact Details
012 882 0976
086 573 3674
44 Sovereign Drive,
Route 21 Corporate Park,
Irene, Gauteng
Monday - Thursday: 08:00 - 16:30
Fridays: 08:00 - 13:00

Closed on weekends and public holidays