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Recent Legal Articles

Monthly Archive May 2018

ByOur Lawyer

Domestic Violence Awareness-Cape Town

Types of domestic violence

Domestic violence is classified as any violent or aggressive behavior taking place within a home which is common in many households.

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There are different forms of domestic violence. These are:

  • Emotional
  • Physical
  • Psychological
  • Economical

The following are forms of domestic violence that can unfold in the following manner:

  • Kicking
  • Biting
  • Slapping
  • Hysteria and throwing objects around
  • Sexual abuse/assault
  • Domineering behavior/controlling etc

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These behavior habits are serious cases of abuse and the perpetrator should be taken to task for such inhumane acts. Our Lawyer Pty Ltd are professional legal experts in Family law and can advise you with the best legal advice for the way forward. Call our law offices on 021 424 3487 for an online appointment today for a professional legal consultation. Do not hesitate to give us a call!

Domestic Violence abuse signs

Are you feeling like you’re stuck in a vicious cycle of abuse? Do you feel like you’re being abused by your partner in anyway?

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Over the years, we have witnessed extreme cases of abuse whereby most woman settle for an abusive relationship. While dealing with so many cases, we found the following tell-tale signs of abuse:

  • Constantly humiliate and belittle them
  • Feel scared of your partner and scared of standing up for yourself
  • Yell at them and put them down
  • Keep you away from friends and family
  • Make you feel as though you’re mad and imagining things
  • Minimize your personal views and accomplishments
  • Treat you as an object and not a human being

This is a sad state of affairs as children suffer the most in the process. Children are being subjected to abuse and violence from an early age and our role is to educate victims about their legal rights. Find out more about the Children’s Act which contains free, expert legal advice for the layperson. Call our offices today!

Domestic violence Act South Africa regulations

When it comes to domestic abuse, woman and children seem to be the key victims in domestic violence. The Act itself allows them the right to protect themselves. The Act aims to offer woman the legal support they require to put an end to the vicious cycle.

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One of the most effective ways of executing a legal action to protect yourself is a protection order or restraining order or domestic violence interdict.

For more helpful information, read our article compiled by a professional legal expert on how to make a domestic violence application.

Feel free to click on the links below for free, expert legal advice:

We are conveniently situated at The Pinnacle, corner of Strand and Burg Street in the CBD, Cape Town, South Africa. Make use of our online appointment system which is efficient and stress free. Call our offices for an online appointment today.

 

 

 

 

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ByOur Lawyer

How to win your Divorce Court Case – TIPS TRICKS

Divorces – What are your chance of getting a fair outcome? Tips and Tricks

Divorce cases can be straightforward or riddled with issues. Not legal issues, but emotional issues, especially when there are children involved. What about the proprietary aspects? Well, that is the easy bit. If parties are married in community of property, there should not be much to argue about. The law is the law. Each party should get what the law says they are entitled to – in this case, an equal division of the joint estate. Read here to find out how to attend to your own unopposed divorce.

Easy divorces are rare

In our view, the simplest divorce would be when the couple was married with an ante-nuptial contract, which excluded community of property and the accrual regime in a case where there are no minor children born from the marriage. In such a case, all that is required is a decree of divorce. However, if there are minor children involved, then the parties may be at loggerheads as to who should have custody, or how visitation should be exercised. Then there is the issue of child maintenance, which can be a tedious and complicated matter to resolve.

Some sound legal advice

In this article, advice is provided on how to win your divorce case. This is done by focusing on what is necessary, fair, and what you are entitled to. Many people focus too much on emotions and irrelevant matter. This is where the wisdom of experts comes into play. What follows are some of the tips and tricks provided by Advocate Muhammad Abduroaf, a family law expert with more than a decade of experience on family law, divorce, child custody and child maintenance matters. Read on to find out some tips and tricks of the trade. Valuable advice is given on what to do through the divorce court process.

Know the Divorce, Custody and Maintenance laws

Let say a couple was married for 10 years – they married in community of property. In other words, they share in everything. There are 2 children born from the marriage. They live in a home that is bonded but purchased by the wife before the marriage. advice-child-maintenance-child-custody-divorceThe bond is only registered in her name and gets deducted from her personal banking account. The father, however, does not work but attends to the household, which includes cleaning, taking the kids to school, making food etc. When the children are ill, the father would be the one who stays up caring for them. School projects and homework is also attended to by the father. The father does some web designing work for income, but his income is minimal compared to that of his wife. The best would be to enter into a parenting plan.

Divorce and the law

Now in a case of divorce, the wife would find it unfair that the husband should have half the value of the home. This is so as she is the one who purchased it before the marriage and paid up all the monthly instalments. Our advice to the mother would be not to waste her time on this issue. The parties were married in community of property, forming one joint estate. If she came into the marriage with the property, then it forms part of the joint estate. The same advice goes to the husband. All that he needs to do is stick to what the law says he is entitled to. The judge would agree with him.

Child Custody and the Law

Then there is the issue of custody. The mother believes that she is entitled to be the primary caregiver because she gave birth to the children. She also believes that all mothers should have custody over minor children no matter what the circumstances. Apparently, someone told her that. However, the reality of the matter is that the father, in this case, cared for the minor children for most of their lives. It would further be in their best interests if he continues to do so. He knows their routine, needs and how to care for them better than the mother. And besides that, the mother is a career woman, who works long, hard hours. She does not have the time, patience or skills to care for the minor children, as efficiently as the father has. The same principles may apply in matters of relocation.

Child Maintenance Tips and Tricks

Now, what advice do we have for parents where there is a dispute regarding the amount of Child Maintenance to Claim? Have a look at this article on Tricks and tips on how to win your child maintenance case. Similar principles can be applied to child maintenance issues in a divorce court, whether in the High Court, or Regional Court. With regard to the scenario above, the father would be the one claiming child maintenance from the mother. Unless he is successful in claiming personal maintenance (or alimony) from the mother, he would have to get a job, or earn more in his web designing business and support himself and contribute towards the expenses of the minor children.

Effects of Divorce

The sad reality of a divorce for most people is that their standard of living drops post-divorce. This is so as there are now two households that need to be maintained. When the couple lived together there was only one bond or rental amount to pay, one municipal bill, and the entire family used the family car. Now it has doubled placing a strain on the resources the parents have. Therefore, one needs to be practical as to what amount of maintenance one claims under these situations. The belt needs to be tightened when it comes to non-essentials. However, the parents must try their utmost to ensure that the minor children’s standard of education does not drop.

Child Custody Tips and Tricks

This aspect is one of the trickiest aspects regarding a divorce matter. Have a look at this article on How to win your child custody and access court case – Tips and Tricks. Here as well, similar principles can be applied to child custody issues in a divorce court. With regard to the scenario above, it would make sense that the father is awarded custody over the minor children advice-child-maintenance-child-custody-divorceand the mother reasonable contact. Her contact rights should accommodate her busy work schedule. That may either be every second weekend, every second day after school or once a month. It all depends on the facts of the case.

Busy Parents when it comes to Access

No parent should be punished for their work schedule. If the mother in the future gets more time off work, then provision should be made for that. In the same manner, should the father be gainfully employed in the future, then the mother would also need to come to the park and make more time for the children.

Fights over Custody

If the parties are in battle regarding who should get custody of the minor children, then focus should be centred as to what is in the minor children’s best interests. The focus should be as to who can actually care better for the children in substance, and not in theory. Many parents say they can care better, or will care better than the other parent, but have nothing to back up such bold allegations. No one is perfect, but if you demonstrated that you cared well for your child in the past, it may be best to leave things the way they are.

Badmouthing the other parent

The focus should not be on badmouthing or finding faults in the other parent. You will annoy the court and your lawyer. Nonetheless, it won’t assist you in any way. If you truly care for your children, put personal issues aside, and put your children first. Even if the reason for the divorce is domestic violence, a level head should still be maintained.

Final words on how to win your divorce case

The advice in this article is not intended to trick the courts into finding in your favour. In our view, winning is getting what you are entitled to. To state it differently, losing would be not getting what is fair. So even if you paid for everything in the joint estate, and leave with half, that is still winning. Many people ask for the impossible in the divorce summons and do not receive it. This is either due to bad legal advice, or a case based on unsound judgment. Losing would be leaving with less than half if there advice-child-maintenance-child-custody-divorcewas no legal basis for it. But if you feel that you want to give your spouse more than half, then do so.

Have a family Law appointment with us

We have an online appointments system which enables you to save valuable time and cut straight to the chase. There is, therefore, no need for you to visit our offices (unless it is best for you to do so, or is your most preferred option).
You may set up telephonic or video consultations should you wish to do so. You can, therefore, stay in the office or on the couch in the comfort of your own home when dealing with us. We are therefore physical, online, set-up and ready to meet with you. Make your appointment online for a consultation today.

If you find any of our articles, free resources and posts interesting, or possibly useful to others, please like and share it on Social Media by clicking on the icons below. Should you require any other legal services and advice, not related to family advice-child-maintenance-child-custody-divorcelaw, visit Private Legal. Or click here for the details of Cape Town Advocate, Muhammad Abduroaf. Visit our child custody and maintenance site for additional information.

 

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ByOur Lawyer

How to Apply for Child Maintenance at Court – Step by Step Guide and Advice

ABC guide to applying for Child Support/Child Maintenance

Advocate of the High Court of South Africa Family Law legal Services

Advocate Muhammad Abduroaf – Advocate of the High Court of South Africa

Child Maintenance Guide: Written by Advocate Muhammad Abduroaf

The procedures to be followed in instituting a complaint for child maintenance are regulated by the Maintenance Act 99 of 1998. Below is a simple “ABC” guide to get you started in claiming maintenance for yourself, your children or dependents. This I wrote in order to encourage people to claim needed maintenance for their children or for themselves. Remember, the Maintenance Court would be more than happy to assist you with whatever other legal queries you may have. Before I deal with the simple steps that should be followed in claiming maintenance, I shall first deal with the following question:

Q: From whom may maintenance be claimed?

A: Maintenance may be claimed from persons who have a legal obligation to maintain you. For instance, children can claim maintenance from their parents or a wife from her husband and visa versa. Seeing that children are minors, they are assisted by their parent or guardian through the maintenance process, but in actual fact, it is the child who is claiming. For the purposes of the steps below, I shall structure it as if a parent or guardian is claiming maintenance on behalf of the child. Purchase a Consultation with us from our Online Shop, by clicking here.

Income and Expenses – Step 1 …

Get hold of all your proof of income. E.g. pay slips. If you are not working for an employer, you should get hold of proof that you earn a certain amount of money per month. If you are unemployed, that is in order.

Get together a list of all monthly expenses incurred for yourself and your children. This would include rent, groceries, clothes, entertainment etc. This information is required when filling in the maintenance application form that is dealt with in Step 2 below.

Find out all the details of the person from whom you are requesting maintenance from, e.g. his/her home and work address and identity number.

Visit the Maintenance Court – Step 2 …

Go to the Maintenance Court closes to your area and obtain an “Application for Maintenance Order Form” also referred to as “Form A”.

Use the information you have gathered in Step 1 and fill in the form. The form is in the form of an affidavit and you, therefore, have to swear to the correctness of the information under oath and sign. Therefore, do not hide any information for the Court.

Caution: If your information is not 100 % correct, you may be cross-examined on such correctness in Court and if it is found that you were not totally honest, this would not be in your favour. If you require any assistance in filling in the form, the maintenance officers would be happy to assist you. Once you have filled in the Application for Maintenance Order Form, return it to the maintenance officer who will process it for you. If the maintenance officer can provide you with a reference/case number there and then, request it. The Maintenance Court will send you and the person you are claiming maintenance from a letter or subpoena to appear at the Maintenance Court for an inquiry with the maintenance officer. Diarise the date immediately and make arrangements with your work and a babysitter as soon as possible. If you miss the date, it can take months to get another.

advice-child-maintenance-child-custody-divorceGet your document in order – Step 3…

From the time you left the office of the maintenance officer and even from the time you decided to claim maintenance, keep all receipts you received for any items bought for you and your child. Therefore, if you buy nappies for your child or even a toy, keep that receipt as if it is gold. This is due to you having to prove to the court that you really do spend money on the child and you have the receipts to prove it.

You will soon hear from the Maintenance Court where they will be giving you a date to appear back at the Maintenance Court for an inquiry. They would either inform you by post or by a subpoena. On that date, both you and the person from whom maintenance is claimed would have to appear. If you are planning on making use of a legal representative, inform him/her early about the date so that he/she can be available to assist you at Court.

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In the notice to appear for the maintenance enquiry, it is requested that you bring proof of all expenses and income for you and your child. This is why it is so very important for you to keep all proof of expenditure in a safe place.

Hint: If you can afford to, bring original proof of expenditure and income and a photocopy thereof. The original you would then be able to take back home and bring it back when requested and the copy will stay in the Court file.

The Maintenance Enquiry – Step 4 …

This step deals with the maintenance enquiry where you and the person from whom you are claiming maintenance from will appear before a maintenance officer. The maintenance officer will speak to each of the parties and look at the documents provided. Each party will get a chance to explain why he/she requires maintenance and also why he/she can’t afford the maintenance requested. The maintenance officer will as far as possible try to resolve the matter there and then without it having to go to court. If the parties can agree to an amount, this amount can be made an order of the court. If however an agreement cannot be reached at this stage, the matter, depending on the Court will either be referred to a prosecutor or for trial.

advice-child-maintenance-child-custody-divorceRemember, if you are a father or a person currently paying maintenance / child support, a reduction is possible. The same goes for an application for an increase in maintenance / child support

Sharing is Caring

This and other articles and posts found on this website are written by Adv. Muhammad Abduroaf to assist people with various family law related issues they may have. If you find any of our articles, free resources and posts interesting, or possibly useful to others, please share it on Social Media.

Should you require any other legal services and advice, not related to family law, visit Private Legal.

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ByOur Lawyer

Questions on Divorce – Frequently Asked Questions and Answers South Africa

Frequently asked questions on Divorce

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Advocate Muhammad Abduroaf - Advocate High Court Cape Town

Advocate Muhammad Abduroaf – Advocate High Court of South Africa

We proud ourselves on our knowledge on family law, and related matters relevant to South Africa. This includes issues and questions surrounding divorces, custody and child maintenance. Feel free to browse through the questions and answers below. Should you not find the answer to a divorce question you are looking for, scroll down to the bottom of this page and post your divorce related question. Or you my click here to to take you to the bottom of this post where the questions starts.

Want to know more about Rule 43 Applications in the High Court and Rule 58 Applications in the Magistrates’ Court? Click here.

How does it work to get a divorce / divorce process?

Only a court of law can divorce you. Therefore, a spouse should take the other spouse to court. You or your lawyer would have to approach the Divorce Court of the Family Court.

What is the procedure or process a for divorce?

One party needs to sue the other party for a divorce. This can be done in the High Court of the Family Courts. Once all the paper work is done, the matter is set down for hearing or trial where a judge or magistrate would divorce you.

How long does it take for a divorce to be finalized?

If an divorce is undefended, it can take about 6 weeks. However, if the parties wishes to litigate, it can take many months, up to 2 (two) years.

How long will it take for a divorce to be final?

If the parties agree and co-operate, it can take less than two months. If not, up to 2 (two) months.

How long does it take for someone to be served with divorce papers?

If the person’s home and work address is known and the person is usually there, it can take a day or two. This depends when the Sheriff is available to serve the summons. However if the person is not always at work or at home to be services, it can take some time.

How long does it take for a divorce to be finalized?

If the parties agree and co-operate, it can take less than two months. If not, up to 2 (two) months.

How long does it take to get a divorce decree paper?

One the divorce is finalised, it should take about a week for the divorce decree or order to be typed out and available for collection.

How is a divorce finalized?

A divorce is finalised by an magistrate or judge granting a decree or order of divorce.

How long does it take to get an amicable divorce?

If the parties are on the same page, and want to keep things friendly, it can take less than two months.

Why does it take so long to get a divorce?

If the parties agree and co-operate, it can take less than two months. If not, up to 2 (two) months. The problem is that when the matter become defended. it can take many months to finalise.

How long does it take to get a divorce by mutual consent in Cape Town?

If the parties agree and co-operate, it can take less than two months. If not, up to 2 (two) months.

Is adultery against the law in South Africa?

No it is not crime. However, it can be ground for a divorce.

What does in community of property means?

In community of property means that here is just one estate. At divorce, the estate has to be divided.

What can be contested in a divorce?

Anything the other spouse asks for can be be contested. This includes maintenance, custody and the divorce itself.

How long does it take to get a divorce in South Africa?

If the parties agree and co-operate, it can take less than two months. If not, up to 2 (two) months.

What is the meaning of uncontested divorce?

An uncontested divorce is a terms used to describe a divorce where both spouses agrees to the divorce, and the terms thereof. They then both co-operate if the finalisation of the divorce.

What is the divorce?

A divorce is the dissolution of the marriage. In other words, you are no longer married after the divorce.

When do you get served divorce papers?

Once a spouse instituted divorce proceedings, you should then be served with divorce papers by the sheriff of the court.

How long does it take to file for a divorce?

If the parties agree and co-operate, it can take less than two months. If not, up to 2 (two) months.

How long does it take to get a divorce in Cape Town if both parties agree?

If the parties agree and co-operate, it can take less than two months. If not, up to 2 (two) months.

What is the final decree of divorce?

It is an order, where the Court dissolves your marriage.

How much does it cost to get a divorce?

The court does not charge for a divorce. However your lawyer would charge a fee, as well as the sheriff of the court who serves the divorce documents.

How long does it take to get a divorce in Cape Town?

If the parties agree and co-operate, it can take less than two months. If not, up to 2 (two) months.

How do I go about filing for divorce?

You should issue a summons at the Divorce Court.

Is a civil marriage in community of property?

Yes, unless you entered into an ante-nuptial contact beforehand stating otherwise.

What happens if your spouse refuses to sign divorce papers?

If your spouse refused to sign divorce papers, the divorce proceeds on a defended bases.

What happens when you file for a divorce?

The legal process follows. Ultimately, you want to have the matter heard before a magistrate or judge.

What is the meaning of notice of bar?

A notice of bar, is a notice given to the Defendant, who filed a notice of intention to defend, but did nothing afterward. Therefore, you a notice of bar is issued, the Plaintiff may go ahead with finalising the case.

What is the meaning of a customary marriage?

A customary marriage is a marriage based on custom. An example is that of Xhosa or Zulu marriages.

How long does it take to get a divorce in South Africa?

If the parties agree and co-operate, it can take less than two months. If not, up to 2 (two) months. Therefore, it is in their best interest to try to resolve matters as soon as possible.

How does it work to get a divorce?

One party needs to summons the other party to Court. Therefore, a divorce cannot take place without a court process.

What is the procedure for divorce?

One party needs to summons the other party to Court.

How long does it take to get a divorce if both parties agree?

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The quickest is four weeks.

How much does it cost to file for a divorce in South Africa?

If you attend to your own divorce, there is no costs, other than sheriff fees.

How do you file for divorce in South Africa?

A divorce has to start with a court process called a Summons. This document is issued at the divorce court and served on the spouse.

What is an uncontested divorce in South Africa?

An uncontested divorce in South Africa is where both parties agrees on the terms of the divorce. In other words, there wont be any opposition to the divorce. Only co-operation.

How long does it take to get a divorce in Cape Town, South Africa?

If all goes well and the divorce is uncontested, it would take approximately two (2) months to finalise.

How long does it take to get a fast divorce in Cape Town, South Africa?

Approximately two (2) months.

How long does it take to get a divorce in South Africa?

Each court is different. However approximately two (2) months.

When a divorce is final?

A divorce is final when you obtain a decree of divorce from the Judge or Magistrate. Therefore, a court process needs to take place.

How can I get a divorce without a lawyer?

You do not need a lawyer to attend to your divorce. You can do it on your own. The best option would be is to approach the Family Court in your area for assistance.

How long does it take to get a divorce in Cape Town, South Africa?

If the divorce is undefended, it can take about six (6) weeks.

How long does it take for someone to be served with divorce papers?

It can take a day or a few weeks. It all depends on when the sheriff is available to serve the divorce papers, as well as the ability to serve. In other words, sometimes the Sheriff takes a while to locate the party who must be served.

How long does it take for a divorce to be finalized?

It can take up to 6 weeks. Therefore, if you want to finalise a divorce quickly, come to an agreement as soon as possible.

How can I get a quick divorce in South Africa?

A divorce is very quick if you and your spouse agrees on the terms of the divorce. You may then enter into a consent paper and have that made an order of court. If you follow that route, with a divorce lawyer, you can be divorced within a few weeks.

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ByOur Lawyer

Child Support / Maintenance – Frequently Asked Questions South Africa

Support – Frequently Asked Questions on Child Maintenance

Support and Child Maintenance: We proud ourselves on our knowledge on family law matters in South Africa. This includes issues and questions surrounding child maintenance. Feel free to browse through the this or question and answers below. Should you not find the answer to a child maintenance question you are look for, feel free to post  your divorce question here.

Child Maintenance links

  1. How to Apply for Child Maintenance at Court – Step by Step Guide and Advice
  2. Child Maintenance Question. How much should I pay or contribute as a parent?
  3. Child Support or maintenance claims. Does an unemployed father pay?
  4. Non-compliance with Maintenance Orders — Civil and Criminal Remedies
  5. Tricks and tips on how to win your child maintenance case

How much is the average child support a parent must pay Cape Town?

There is no average. It all depends on the needs of the child and the income of the parents.

How much do you get for child support in Cape Town?

It depends on the income of the parents and the needs of the child.

How do you determine the amount of child support?

You look at the needs of the child, and the parent’s income and expenses.

What is the average amount for child support?

There is no average amount. It depends on the facts of the case.

How much child support will I get in Cape Town?

It all depends on your income and standard of living of you and the child.

Is South African an alimony state?

Yes, it is possible that a court makes and order that alimony be paid. It all depends on the

Can you ask for retroactive child support?

Yes it is possible.  Whether the court grants it would depends on the facts of the case.

How much is minimum wage in Cape Town?

This website does not deal with that question.

What percentage do they take out of your salary for child support?

If there is a garnishee order against your salary, they will take off what the court ordered.

How do you calculate child support in Town?

Have a look at other parts of this website for a detailed answer. The simple answer is that the Court looks at your income, assets etc, and that of the mother and the child and come to a fair amount.

Who is the obligor in child support?

The person who should pay child support.

Do I have to pay child support if I have 50 50 custody?

It is possible if the other parent earns less than you.

How much is child support for two children?

It depends on the facts of the case. You should look at the earnings of the parents and the needs of the child.

 

How much do you have to pay in child support?

It depends on the needs of the child and the earnings or means of the parents.

What percentage of custody is every other weekend?

This question does not fall under child support. Please search for the answer on another part of this website.

How does child support work when parents live in different provinces?

The basic principle is the same. They should pay according to their means and the needs of the child.

When can you modify a child support order?

When there is a case for it. Usually when more money is needed or one parent cannot afford the order.

Do you have to pay child support after a child turns 18?

If the child is still in need of support, then the answer is yes.

How long will it take to get my child support?

This depends on the relevant court and case. It can take a few months.

How can I get my child support payments lowered?

You would need to apply to court for a variation of the child support order.

What is your monthly gross income?

The total sum you receive, before deductions.
Can you get child support arrears dropped?

You would need to approach the court and prove your case.
What is the definition of gross income?

The total income before deductions.

How do you find your gross income?

Your salary slip should have it.

How do I calculate my monthly salary?

Look at all you income for the month.

How do you calculate adjusted gross income?

Your salary slip should have that information in it.

How do you figure out your net income?

You take your gross income, and deduct medical aid, pension, tax etc.

How do you calculate monthly income when you get paid biweekly?

You add all your income for the month.

What is the net annual income?

The amount you earned for the year after deductions.

What is my gross annual income?

The total amount you got paid before deductions.

How do you work out your weekly pay?

Add all your income for the week.

What is the definition of net income?

The total income after deductions.

How do you determine your net pay?

You first deduct tax, medical aid, etc.

What is the definition of total income?

All your income.

Is total earned income gross or net?

Gross income.

Have a family Law appointment with us

We have an online appointments system which enables you to save valuable time and cut straight to the chase. There is therefore no need for you to visit our offices (unless it is best for you to do so, or is your most preferred option).
You may set up telephonic or video consultations should you wish to do so. You can therefore stay in the office or on the couch in the comfort of your own home when dealing with us. We are therefore physical, online, set-up and ready to meet with you. Make your appointment online for a consultation today.

If you find any of our articles, free resources and posts interesting, or possibly useful to others, please like and share it on Social Media by clicking on the icons below. Should you require any other legal services and advice, not related to family law, visit Private Legal.

Advocate of the High Court of South Africa

High Court Advocate Cape Town Western Cape

Or click here for the details of Cape Town Advocate, Muhammad Abduroaf or this advocate link to learn more.

Visit our child custody and maintenance site for additional information.

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Child Custody – Frequently Asked Questions South Africa

Frequently Asked Questions on Child Custody

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Advocate Muhammad Abduroaf - Advocate High Court Cape Town

Advocate Muhammad Abduroaf – Advocate High Court of South Africa

We proud ourselves on our knowledge of family law, and related matters in relation to South African Law. This includes issues and questions surrounding child custody, divorce and child maintenance. Feel free to browse through this question and answers sections below. Should you not find the answer to a child custody question you are looking for, feel free to post your child custody question at the bottom of this post.

What does it mean when you have primary residential custody?

It means that the child primarily resides with you. For example, the child will only visit the other parent every second weekend.

What is a joint residence order?

The child resides with both parents. Usually on an equal basis.

What is joint custody of a child?

This is the situation where both parents care for the child.

How can you get custody of your child?

If you want custody of your child, you would have to approach a court for that. You can either approach the Children’s Court of the High Court. The court would then decide if it is in the child’s best interests.

How do I file for joint custody?

If you want joint custody of your child, you would have to approach a court for that. You can either approach the Children’s Court of the High Court. The court would then decide if it is in the child’s best interests.

How do you file for visitation rights?

If you want visitation rights over your child, you would have to approach a court for that. You can either approach the Children’s Court of the High Court. The court would then decide if it is in the child’s best interests.

How do you file for full custody of your child in Cape Town, South Africa?

If you want custody of your child, you would have to approach a court for that. You can either approach the Children’s Court of the High Court. The court would then decide if it is in the child’s best interests.

How do I file for joint custody in Cape Town, South Africa?

If you want joint custody of your child, you would have to approach a court for that. You can either approach the Children’s Court of the High Court. The court would then decide if it is in the child’s best interests.

How do you file for sole custody of a child?

If you want sole custody of your child, you would have to approach a court for that. You can either approach the Children’s Court of the High Court. The court would then decide if it is in the child’s best interests.

What is sole legal custody of a child?

If you have sole legal custody, it means that you alone make day to day decisions regarding your child’s life.

Can you get sole custody and child support?

Yes, you can.

Can a father get full custody of his child?

Yes, he can. All that he must prove is that it would be in the child’s best interests.

How is child support affected by joint custody?

If one parent earns more than the other, then he or she may have to pay child support to the other parent. This is so even if they have joint custody.

What is shared custody?

This is when both parents care for the child and have a say in the child’s life.

Who will have to pay child support?

Both parents have to pay child support.

What is considered joint custody?

When both parents care for the child jointly.

What is joint custody with primary residence?

Where the child primarily resides would be her primary residence. Joint custody would mean both parents care for the child and have a say in her life.

Can both parents have primary custody?

It is possible in theory, but not practical.

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What does it mean to be the primary custodial parent?

It means that you decide the day to day affairs of your child’s life. For example, the school he goes to, and the extramural activities he does.

Who would be the custodial parent?

Both or either parent can be the custodial parent.

What is the difference between full and sole custody?

Full custody would mean you have just as much custody rights as the other parent. Sole custody would mean you the only parent who has custody rights.

What does sole custody mean in Cape Town, South Africa?

Sole custody would mean you the only parent who has custody rights.

Is primary custody the same as full custody?

No, not necessary. Primary would mean the child primarily lives by one parent. The other parent may still see the child on weekends, school holidays etc. Full custody could mean the same as sole custody.

What does it mean to have joint physical custody?

This would mean that the child is in the care of both parents. Basically on an equal basis.

What is joint sole custody?

Joint custody is when both parents take care of the child.

Do I have to pay child support if I have 50 50 custody?

If a parent earns more than the other parent, he or she may have to pay more towards the child’s expense. A good example would be school fees.

What does it mean to have 50 50 custody?

This means that the child resides with both parents most of the time. Both parents also have a joint say in the child’s life.

What is the definition of joint legal custody?

Joint custody is when both parents have equal say in the child’s life.

What is primary custody of a child?

Primary custody is where one parent cares for the child primarily.

What is primary caregiver mean?

A primary caregiver is a parent who primarily takes care of the child.

What is split custody of a child?

This is the case where the child spends an equal amount of time with either parent.

What is the definition of a caregiver?

A caregiver is a parent or person who cares for the child.

What is the caregiving?

Caregiving is caring for a child. This includes the provision of food, clothing and shelter.

What are the responsibilities of a caregiver?

To care for the child. This includes the provision of food, clothing, education and shelter.

What is the job description of a caregiver?

To care for the child. This includes the provision of food, clothing and shelter.

What are the skills of a caregiver?

There are no specific skills. However, he or she must be able to care for the child. The child’s best interests should always be upheld.

advice-child-maintenance-child-custody-divorceWhat are the qualities of a good caregiver?

Who ensures the child’s best interests are met.

What does it mean to be a custodian?

It means that you take care of the day to day needs of the child.

What are my rights as a father?

To be part of your child’s life.

How can a father get custody of his child?

You would need to apply to a court.

Who has custody of a child when the parents are not married?

Primarily the mother. However, the father acquires such rights if he forms part of the child’s life.

What rights does a father have to a child born out of wedlock?

If he forms part of the child’s life and pays support, then he acquires parental responsibilities and rights.

What are your rights as a father?

To form part of his child’s life.

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Basic Divorce Guide – Western Cape High Court – Cape Town

Basic Divorce Guide – Western Cape High Court – Cape Town

Written by Adv. Muhammad Abduroaf (LL.B LL.M)
(Advocate of the High Court of South Africa)

1. Legal Advice

1.1. If you want to get divorced from your spouse, I strongly advise that your approach a legal practitioner, or an attorney to attend to it on your behalf. This I would implore even more under the following circumstance:
1.1.1. There will be a dispute over care and visitation rights over the child/children;
1.1.2. One of the parties shall be applying for forfeiture of patrimonial benefits from a marriage in community of property;
1.1.3. The joint estate is huge or complicated; or
1.1.4. The other party shall be making use of legal representation.

1.2. If, however, you would like to know the general procedures on how to go about in obtaining a divorce decree; they are listed summarily below. There are many rules that regulate divorce processes and the summary below does exclude some of them. These include exceptions, strikeouts, compelling compliance, service addresses etc. Other matters incidental to divorce proceedings, e.g. interim arrangements, pending the divorce regarding maintenance for you or your children and care and contact regarding children are not dealt with. Therefore, please consult a legal practitioner or the divorce court throughout your divorce process should you decide to do the divorce yourself.

2. Summons and Particulars of Claim

2.1. A summons needs to be drafted which should be issued by the divorce court to commence the divorce process. It should have on it the details of the court you will be issuing divorce from, details of the parties, e.g. names, occupation, and address etc. Every High Court in the area where you live has the authority to attend to a divorce.
2.2. You should then draft particulars of claim outlining relevant matters concerning the marriage, children, reasons for wanting a divorce and what do you want the court to grant you in a divorce order. This particular of claim you attach to the summons.
2.3. Once you have your summons and particulars of claim in order, you have to have the summons issued.
2.4. To do this, make three (3) copies of your set of documents (Summons and Particulars of Claim) and have it issued at court.

3. Issuing and Service of Summons

3.1. Once you are at the court, go to the clerk/registrar of the court and have your documents issued.

3.2. The clerk/registrar will sign the summons and provide a case number and write it on the summons.

3.3. You should then take the original and a copy (both must be signed and stamped by the clerk/registrar of the court) and take it to the sheriff which serves documents where your spouse works of lives. You can ask the clerk/registrar of the court for that details.

3.4. The extra—copy of the summons and particulars of claim you keep for your file and records.

4. Notice of intention to defend

4.1. Once the sheriff has served the documents, your spouse has two weeks to inform you whether he or she shall be defending the divorce. This information is outlined in the summons.
4.2. If you spouse decided not the defend the divorce action, then after a period of two weeks has elapsed, you may set the matter down as an undefended divorce. If your spouse intends to defend the divorce, he or she would then have to do the following.

5. Plea to particulars of claim

5.1. Once you received notice of your spouse’s intention to defend the divorce, about a months later, your spouse or his or attorney should serve and file a plea.
5.2. The plea should outline which parts of your particulars of claim your spouse agrees (or disagree) with which would give a direction of what to prove in court.

6. Counter Claim

6.1. Your spouse might want to file a counterclaim. In the same way, which you outlined your case as to what you want from the court and the reasons therefore in your particulars of claim, your spouse can file on your as well a counterclaim.
6.2. A counterclaim might still be filed if your spouse agrees to a divorce, by maybe wants primary care of the children, but in your particulars of claim, you asked for primary care.
6.3. You should then within 10 (ten) days plead to the counterclaim the same manner in which you spouse pleaded to your particulars of claim.

7. Obtaining a Trial date

7.1. Once you received the plea, without a counterclaim, or have pleaded to your spouse’s counterclaim, you should then approach the clerk/registrar of the court for a trial date. This you or your spouse may do.

8. Discovery

8.1. While you are waiting for a trial date, and way before the trial, you may ask, or may be asked to provide under oath a schedule of books and documents in your possession and under your control relating to the divorce. This could be policy documents, deeds etc, and which your or your spouse might want to make use of at trial.
8.2. Once you received this schedules you may inspect and request copies of the documents.

9. Divorce day / Trial

9.1. If your spouse does not defend the divorce within the time period, go back to court and ask for an unopposed divorce date and attend to your divorce on that date.
9.2. If however your divorce is defended, a trial should ensure. During the trial, each party shall prove his or her case. Witnesses shall be called and at the end, the Magistrate or Judge shall deliver the verdict.

Best of luck, and please, don’t take my word, contact a legal practitioner should you decide to get divorced.

Kind regards,

Advocate Muhammad Abduroaf (Cape Town | Western Cape)

LL.B & LL.M (Master of Laws) Constitutional Litigation

Advocate of the High Court of South Africa

Supplied by:
Our Lawyer (Pty) Ltd
Office: 021 424 3487

View the following related pages:

Free DIY Online Divorce Guide and Form

A divorce guide in PDF format

A Sample Summons in Word format

A Particulars of Claim in Word Format

A notice of Set Down in Word Format

Have a family Law appointment with us

We have an online appointments system which enables you to save valuable time and cut straight to the chase. There is therefore no need for you to visit our offices (unless it is best for you to do so, or is your most preferred option).
You may set up telephonic or video consultations should you wish to do so. You can therefore stay in the office or on the couch in the comfort of your own home when dealing with us. We are therefore physical, online, set-up and ready to meet with you. Make your appointment online for a consultation today.

If you find any of our articles, free resources and posts interesting, or possibly useful to others, please like and share it on Social Media by clicking on the icons below. Should you require any other legal services and advice, not related to family law, visit Private Legal. Or click here for the details of Cape Town Advocate, Muhammad Abduroaf.

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Free legal advice Cape Town – Family Law

Free Legal Advice on Family Law and Related Topics

Legal services can be very expensive. However if you know how to move around the web, you can easily find free resources. If you are in search of family law related legal services and advice, you are at the right place.

We are a legal consultancy based in the Western Cape. Our services comprises of various family law and other legal fields. Should you require any family law legal advice or services, click on the various links on this website.

Our Family Law Clients

We firmly believe in family relations and the need to protect and enforce it when necessary. Therefore, proper workable legal advice must always be provided. This we strive to ensure. Although we are based in Cape Town, we offer legal advice and legal services to clients throughout South Africa. This we do as we believe in providing high quality legal services to everyone who requires it.

Free Family Law Resources

If you require any of the following free resources, feel free to order them.

  1. A Free Basic Will Tool Kit
  2. Free Shariah Will Template
  3. A Free Divorce Starter Tool Kit
  4. Free Child Maintenance Calculator
  5. A Free DIY Urgent Child Contact Toolkit
  6. Urgent Holiday Contact Toolkit

If you are in search of family law articles, view some of them below.

 Child Maintenance

  1. How to Apply for Child Maintenance at Court – Step by Step Guide and Advice
  2. Child Maintenance Question. How much should I pay or contribute as a parent?
  3. Child Support or maintenance claims. Does an unemployed father pay?
  4. Non-compliance with Maintenance Orders — Civil and Criminal Remedies
  5. Tricks and tips on how to win your child maintenance case

Child Custody

  1. The Law Regarding Children – The Children’s Act 38 of 2005
  2. How do I get full custody over my child?
  3. Parental Child Abuse in Custody Cases
  4. Relocate with minor child. Parent Refusing Consent for a Passport
  5. Father being refused contact to his child! What are his rights as a Father?
  6. Father’s Parental Responsibilities and Rights to his Child
  7. Urgent Access to your Children without a Lawyer
  8. Parenting Plans and the Law
  9. What happens in a custody dispute where one parent is mentally ill?
  10. How to win your child custody and access court case – Tips and Tricks

Divorce & Property

  1. How to Change your Matrimonial Property Regime
  2. Do your own Unopposed Divorce. No lawyers needed and its Free.
  3. Parental Rights of Divorced Muslim parents after a Talaq or Faskh
  4. Free Online Divorce Assistance Form – DIY Cape Town South Africa comprising of:

Domestic Violence

  1. I’m in a physically and emotionally abusive relationship. Help from Abuse.
  2. How to make a Domestic Violence Application

Frequently asked questions

Have a family Law appointment with us

We have an online appointments system which enables you to save valuable time and cut straight to the chase. There is therefore no need for you to visit our offices (unless it is best for you to do so, or is your most preferred option).
You may set up telephonic or video consultations should you wish to do so. You can therefore stay in the office or on the couch in the comfort of your own home when dealing with us. We are therefore physical, online, set-up and ready to meet with you. Make your appointment online for a consultation today.

If you find any of our articles, free resources and posts interesting, or possibly useful to others, please like and share it on Social Media by clicking on the icons below. Should you require any other legal services and advice, not related to family law, visit Private Legal.

Advocate of the High Court of South Africa

High Court Advocate Cape Town Western Cape

Or click here for the details of Cape Town Advocate, Muhammad Abduroaf or this advocate link to learn more.

Visit our child custody and maintenance site for additional information.

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I’m in a physically and emotionally abusive relationship. Help from Abuse.

Our Legal Question of the day: I am in an abusive relationship. Is there help out there?

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Set up a Consultation with us.

No one deserves to be in an abusive and controlling relationship or be a victim of abuse. The causes and symptoms of abusive and controlling, romantic relationships vary. However, the unfortunate reality is that many decent people are trapped in one. And what is sad, is that they do not know how to get out of the toxic relationship, or to make it stop. There are many reasons why people remain in an abusive and controlling relationship. Some depend on the abuser for financial support, and others believe that they cannot or won’t get better should they leave their abuser.  The even more bitter scenario is when you remain in the abusive relationship for the sake of the children.

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 Family Abuse

Then there are other types of abusive relationships. They comprise of a parent abusing his or her child, or a brother abusing the sister. Even neglecting a child is abuse. This can happen when parents deprive their children economically, of decent clothing, food and shelter. The list goes on. The law terms the above type of abusive relationships under the banner of Domestic Violence. At the same time, the law affords victims of domestic violence help. The applicable legislation is the Domestic Violence Act, 116 of 1998.

What is a Domestic Relationship?

As you would see below, domestic violence is any controlling or abusive behaviour inflicted to someone in a domestic relationship. Therefore, in short, according to the Act, a domestic relationship is between family members, people living together, or people who were in a romantic relationship. You do not have to be married to someone to seek help from the law. An adopted child can also seek protection from the Domestic Violence Act. This makes it very convenient as most domestic relationships are covered by the Domestic Violence Act.

 Therefore, what is domestic Violence?

The Domestic Violence Act defines it as follows:

  • Physical abuse;
  • Sexual abuse;
  • Emotional, verbal and psychological abuse;
  • Economic abuse;
  • Intimidation;
  • Harassment;
  • Stalking;
  • Damage to property;
  • entry into the complainant’s residence without consent, where the parties do not share the same residence; or
  • Any other controlling or abusive behavior towards a Complainant.

Now, as you can see, the ambit of domestic violence is quite broad. It should cover most situations.

How to stop the abusive behavior?

Now we deal with the crux of our question and answer segment on Domestic Violence. How can you make it stop?

If you are a victim of domestic violence, and you want protection, you should visit your local Domestic Violence Court and obtain a Protection Order. For an outline on how to apply, visit this article named ABC guide on how to obtain a Protection Order.

Even though you are seeking protection from the law, you can still maintain a relationship with the person, but he or she would be interdicted from committing any acts of domestic violence against you.  If he or she again commits an act of domestic violence, after you obtained an interim, or final Protection order, the law would ensure that he or she gets punished.

Final words to victims of Abuse

If you are a victim of abuse, remember the law is there to protect and help you. Unfortunately, the law cannot change people’s personalities. It further cannot make someone love you or care for you the way they should, or you want them to. However, if you have no option but to remain in a relationship, with your spouse, lover, or other significant person, seek protection. Most times, that is the best you can do for yourself and those close to you.

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This and other articles and posts found on this website are written by Adv. Muhammad Abduroaf to assist people with various family law related issues they may have. If you find any of our articles, free resources and posts interesting, or possibly useful to others, please like and share it on Social Media by clicking on the icons below. For more interesting articles and information on Family Law, view our articles and Q&A page. If you have a family law related legal issue and you want someone to answer or reply to it, feel free to post it on our Family Law Blog. Therefore, kindly like and share.

Should you require any other legal services and advice, not related to family law, visit Private Legal.

 

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Best attorney in Cape Town

Advocate Muhammad Abduroaf High Court Advocate South Africa

Advocate Muhammad Abduroaf High Court Advocate South Africa

Find the best attorney, lawyer, or advocate in Cape Town

Everyone wants the best legal advice and services available. However not many of us know how to find a good or a reliable Attorney or Advocate when facing a legal problem. This article deals with the best way to find a Lawyer, Attorney or Advocate to assist you in resolving your legal problems.

Types of Lawyers – Attorneys and Advocates

You get many types of Lawyers. Some are good at some things and others are good at others. However, depending on your legal problem, a general Lawyer, Attorney or Advocate may not be the best person to speak to when handling your matter. Sometimes you will require an expert in the field. This would especially be so when dealing with specialist legal problems and where the stakes are high. These problems would include those of family law, business law, and criminal law. The fields mentioned, our specialist fields where you require a Lawyer or an Attorney with have special knowledge and skills in that field. Read on for some tips on how to find the best Attorney, or Lawyer for your legal problems.

How to find the best attorney or lawyer for your Legal problems?

For most, the starting point in your search to find a good Lawyer would be to do a simple search on the Internet for a good Lawyer, Advocate or Attorney in your area. You obviously do not want to find someone in another province. You may want to Google terms like “Attorney for child maintenance cape town” or “criminal law expert Durban”. Once you found somebody or a firm that meets your requirements, give them a call to see if they can assist you or advise you on your legal issue. You would most probably first speak to a receptionist. If you are satisfied, set up a consultation with them. Look for testimonials and other information of the law firm on the web before engaging with them.

If you require legal advice, then most Lawyers should be able to provide you with it. However, if it relates to a Court case, then you may have to arrange a meeting with one or two more first to ensure that you are happy. You initially thought the web and telephone would limit your search and time spend sourcing that right Lawyer for the job.

Fees / Costs of the Lawyer

The costs of legal services are just as important as the costs of a medical procedure. We all want the best, but that is not something that can always be afforded. But at the same time, you do get very good Lawyers who are not expensive and are reasonable in their fees. As it would be impossible for any legal practitioner worth her salt to provide you with the exact figure for a legal case; an estimate is always possible and welcomed.

Lawyers usually charge on a time basis. Therefore, if they work on your file for an hour, they will charge you for an hour. It is therefore important to find out what the lawyer’s rate is and how he or she charges. A fee agreement is usually entered into regulating the fees. The usual practice is for Attorneys to request a deposit beforehand. This deposit would be paid into the attorney’s trust account.

Final words of sourcing a lawyer

No two clients are alike. The same applies to lawyers. It is important that you make use of the services of a Lawyer you can get along with, and also that fits your pocket or budget. The last thing you want is for you or your Lawyer to terminate the mandate due to issues between the two of you. This would not benefit your case at all and could costs you or your case dearly.

As stated, make use of the internet to source your Lawyer. Many Lawyers list their services and expertise on their firm’s website. Some websites even provide testimonials of satisfied clients. However, it is advised that you contact the law firm telephonically to find out more about the specific service you require and whether they can be of service to you. You would then want to meet with them to discuss your case and see if there are the right firm for the job and fit your budget.

We are conveniently situated at The Pinnacle, corner of Strand and Burg Street in the CBD, Cape Town, South Africa. Make use of our online appointment system which is efficient and stress free. Call our offices for an online appointment today.

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