fbpx

Some interesting questions and answers regarding divorces in South Africa. Here are some questions people ask and search for online.

Divorces questions and answers in South Africa

People going through divorces have many questions. Some we can expect, and others are very surprising. Read on to learn more about divorces and the questions people ask.

How much does a divorce cost in South Africa?

The cost of a divorce varies from case to case and client to client. If a divorce is undefended or agreed upon,  then the cost would be significantly low.  However,  should the divorce be contested where the parties cannot agree on the terms of the divorce,  then, under those circumstances, the ultimate cost can be very high.

Factors to consider would be how many issues there are to be resolved, the number of court days required, and preparation time. In the end,  the more time that is spent on a divorce matter by lawyers, the more it would cost the client.

Where can I get free legal advice on divorce in South Africa?

There are many places where a person may obtain legal advice on divorces in South Africa.  Some places offer free initial consultations.  Then there are places like the Legal Aid Board or a Legal Resources Centre that would be of assistance at no charge or a minimal fee.  There are also non-governmental organisations and University law clinics that would advise you on a divorce matter at no charge.

What’s the cheapest divorce cost?

There is no need to make use of the services of a lawyer to attend to your divorce.  A person is allowed to attend to his or her divorce in South Africa on his or her own.  The only cost one may incur is Sheriff fees. On the other hand,  there are businesses that  charge a very low fee that would assist you in finalising your divorce. This fee may only relate to the drafting of the court documentation.

Who is the best divorce lawyer in South Africa?

It would be hard to say who is the best divorce lawyer in South Africa. As lawyers’ practice in various cities and provinces,  it may be best to find out which law firms specialise in divorce matters in your area and therefore be able to provide you with quality and reliable legal services.

As each legal matter and client is different,  so too would the experiences of lawyers differ.

At the end of the day, you would seek a legal representative that has the necessary expertise and knowledge on family law and able to assist you with your legal problem. If the legal practitioner has the time and the willingness to assist you in getting what you are entitled to,  then in our view such a lawyer would be the best lawyer for you under the circumstances.

What are the four main stages of a divorce?

  • Drafting of the summons and having it issued and served;
  • Filing a plea with or without a counterclaim;
  • Preparation for the court hearing; and
  • Trial.

Who pays for a divorce?

The parties usually pay for their own divorce.  The majority of the cost goes to the lawyer. However, the court can order that one party pays for the other party’s costs after the divorce is finalised.

How can I pay my lawyer with no money?

If you do not have money to pay a lawyer for his or her legal services upfront,  you may find out from the lawyer whether or not you may enter into a payment arrangement. The payment arrangement could mean that you pay the lawyer a small portion of the fees at the end of each month.

If there is money that you would receive at the end of the divorce,  for example,  due to a pension payout,  then under the circumstances,  the lawyer may agree to be paid later.  If you cannot afford to pay for legal services at all, it is suggested that you still approach the divorce court and ask them to assist you with your divorce or Direct you to a place that would be able to assist you pro bono.

Who can I talk to for free divorce legal advice?

There are many places you can go to for advice on divorce matters. For the first point of call, we suggest the Legal Aid Board,  or a  Law Clinic or a Legal Resources Centre.  You may also want to go online and search for places that provide free legal advice on divorces in South Africa.

How can I talk to a divorce lawyer for free?

If you wish to consult with a lawyer who is a specialist in divorces, you may find one online that would not charge you for the initial consultation. Generally, the initial free consultation would be very short and used to ascertain whether or not the divorce lawyer would be of any assistance to you.  Should you then proceed to make use of the services of a divorce lawyer, a fee would be applicable?

How do you get a divorce if you have no money?

If you do not have any money it would be hard to obtain the services of a divorce lawyer at no fee.  Some divorce lawyers may assist you in providing some legal advice.  However, if you want a lawyer to take your matter further, you may have to consider organisations like the Legal  Aid Board,  Legal Resources Centre,  or a  law clinic.  You may also want to consider searching online for law firms that do pro bono work.

How many years do you have to be separated to be legally divorced in South Africa?

To be legally divorced from your spouse in South Africa, you require a decree of divorce given by a judge or magistrate at the court.  If you are separated from your spouse for any number of years, you still remain married to him or her.  Other than legally divorcing someone, the marriage is also terminated should one of the spouses pass away.

How long does a divorce take on average?

If you and your spouse agree on the terms of your divorce, the divorce can be finalised in a matter of weeks.  However, if the divorce is contested and there are a range of issues in dispute,  the divorce can take many months or even years to finalise.

How do I divorce my wife without losing everything?

What does a person leave with at the end of a divorce would depend upon the matrimonial property regime he or she entered into when getting married.  If the couple was married in community of property,  then at the divorce they would share equally in the division of the joint estate.  If the couple were married out of community of property with the inclusion of the accrual regime,  then in such a case they would share in half the difference of the accrual of their respective Estates.

Therefore, should a couple decide to divorce they should spend as little money as possible on fighting over aspects of their marriage which the law already dealt with.  For example, how assets should be divided at the dissolution of the marriage.  It would be a total waste of time to argue over the property if at the end of the day the property would have to be sold and divided equally between the parties.

Are there advantages to filing for divorce first?

There could be certain strategic advantages in filing for divorce first. However, it would depend on the specific circumstances of the case.  Usually, the party that initiates the divorce proceedings would be the one who would be responsible for finalising the divorce process.

The same party who initiated divorce proceedings may spend a bit more in legal fees in finalising the divorce.  However, on the whole, when the matter finally gets heard in court the party who initiated divorce proceedings will not be in a better position than the party defending it.

What happens if I lose my job and can’t pay alimony?

If you lost your job and unable to pay alimony you should approach the court to have the maintenance order reduced or set aside. The court would, however, look at various factors, these include your ability to obtain an income and also your assets.

How long can a couple be separated?

A couple may be separated for any amount of time. A long period of separation could signify the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.

Does it matter who files for divorce first in South Africa?

No,  it does not matter who files for a divorce in South Africa.  The outcome would largely be the same.

Is adultery illegal in South Africa?

For something to be illegal, it should have been criminalised. Adultery is not a crime in South Africa. In relation to divorces, if a party has committed adultery,  it is a reason for a divorce.

What a woman should ask for in a divorce settlement?

There are various things a party may ask for in a divorce settlement.  This is so whether or not you are a male or a female.  However, if you are a female and you are not self-supportive,  then it is suggested that you ask for alimony or personal maintenance in your divorce settlement.

If you are on your spouse’s medical aid scheme, we suggest that you ask that you continue to remain on your spouse’s medical aid scheme after the divorce.

What if my husband filed for divorce first?

In principle, there is no difference whether or not a wife or a husband files for divorce first.  If the marriage has broken down irretrievably,  then the sooner a spouse can Institute divorce proceedings,  the sooner the divorce can be finalised.

What can you not do when getting a divorce?

Once a couple divorced, they are no longer married.  Therefore, they may remarry immediately and move on with their lives.  They can purchase property go into debt and so on without the consent of their former spouse.  Therefore, unless the divorce order says otherwise,  a divorced spouse may do anything lawfully which he or she could have done before he or she initially got married.

What is the wife entitled to in a divorce in South Africa?

There is no specific legal provision in our law that affords a wife something after a divorce.  However, what a spouse usually claim if there is a case for it is alimony or personal maintenance after the divorce. If the wife is the one who will have custody over the minor children after the divorce,  she may claim child maintenance and related expenses.

Is spousal maintenance mandatory in South Africa?

Spousal maintenance or alimony is not mandatory in South Africa.  If a spouse wants to claim spousal maintenance or alimony,  he or she must prove to the court that he or she is entitled to it.

Can you date while separated in South Africa?

In South Africa, the law does not prohibit one spouse from dating another person after they have been separated.

Do I get half of my husband’s pension in a divorce?

A spouse would share in the pension of the other spouse if they were married in community of property.  If the parties were married out of community of property with the inclusion of the accrual regime,  then in such a case he or she would be entitled to a portion of the pension when calculating the accrual.

How do I divorce my wife and keep everything?

The only way in which a spouse can divorce the other spouse and keep everything he or she owns is if they were married to each other out of community of property with the exclusion of the accrual regime.  If that was not the case, they would have to share in either the Joint Estate or accrual.

What are the rights of a woman after a divorce?

A spouse’s rights after the divorce would be based upon the divorce decree.  If the divorce decree does not stipulate anything other than a decree of divorce,  then such a spouse would not have any rights against the other spouse except for that regarding minor children.  If the court made an order regarding personal maintenance or alimony then that specific rights would be standing.

Who gets the house in divorce South Africa?

If the house belongs to the joint estate, the couple can agree that it goes to a specific spouse. However, if they cannot agree, then the house would have to be sold and the proceeds divided equally.

Is South Africa a mother or father state when it comes to child custody?

There is no preference for a mother or father when it comes to a divorce. What the court looks at is what is best for the children.

Can a wife take everything in a divorce?

It is possible if the parties agree to it. If not, then one would have to look at the principles applicable to their matrimonial property regime.

How do I protect myself financially from my spouse before getting married?

You would have to ensure that you get married out of community of property. You may consider getting married with the accrual regime or without.

How can I hide money from my husband?

If you are married in community of property, you and your husband would own half shares of everything. This includes debt.

Can you kick your spouse out of the house in South Africa?

No, you cannot. However, you may approach a court of law should there be domestic violence. In such a case, the court may order that the spouse move out.

Who qualifies for alimony in South Africa?

A spouse that does not have an income and that has always been supported by the other spouse may qualify.

Does adultery affect divorce in South Africa?

It is grounds for divorce if it broke down the marriage.

Is a sexless marriage normal?

It depends on the stage of the marriage and the age of the couple.

You would need to go for marriage counselling. The counsellor would speak to both you and your spouse and see what the problems are and try to assist you in resolving it. It is important that the couple partakes in meaningful communications and counselling. If one or both of the parties are not interested in resolving the issue, then it is sure to fail.

How do husbands hide money before divorce?

One way is to let another person keep it.

How can you prove someone is hiding their income?

You would have to have documentary proof. If the matter is at court, then you can subpoena the employer.

Why would a man stay in a sexless marriage?

If there is love and a bond beyond sex.

You would need to go for marriage counselling. The counsellor would speak to both you and your spouse and see what the problems are and try to assist you in resolving it. It is important that the couple partakes in meaningful communications and counselling. If one or both of the parties are not interested in resolving the issue, then it is sure to fail.

How do you stay faithful in a sexless marriage?

That is up to you. You need to speak to your spouse about the issue and if necessary, seek professional advice. You would need to go for marriage counselling. The counsellor would speak to both you and your spouse and see what the problems are and try to assist you in resolving it. It is important that the couple partakes in meaningful communications and counselling. If one or both of the parties are not interested in resolving the issue, then it is sure to fail.

Can a marriage survive without intimacy?

It would depend on the married couple. However, intimacy is an important aspect of a marriage.

You would need to go for marriage counselling. The counsellor would speak to both you and your spouse and see what the problems are and try to assist you in resolving it. It is important that the couple partakes in meaningful communications and counselling. If one or both of the parties are not interested in resolving the issue, then it is sure to fail.

Is once a month a sexless marriage?

You would need to go for marriage counselling. The counsellor would speak to both you and your spouse and see what the problems are and try to assist you in resolving it. It is important that the couple partakes in meaningful communications and counselling. If one or both of the parties are not interested in resolving the issue, then it is sure to fail.

What age does a man stop being sexually active?

You would need to seek medical advice. It would depend on various factors. The health of the parties and also external factors. For example, work issues, or family trauma and so on.

How do you fix a sexless marriage?

You would need to go for marriage counselling. The counsellor would speak to both you and your spouse and see what the problems are and try to assist you in resolving it. It is important that the couple partakes in meaningful communications and counselling. If one or both of the parties are not interested in resolving the issue, then it is sure to fail.

How can I save my wife’s house?

You have to pay the bond and all expenses.

What if my wife doesn’t want a divorce?

If your spouse does not want a divorce, the court can still grant it if the marriage broke down.

What are my rights in a divorce?

Your right in the divorce would be to obtain any funds you are entitled to base on your matrimonial property regime as well as alimony if you are entitled to it.

How is spousal support calculated in South Africa?

To determine the amount of spousal support,  one would need to look at the expenses of the spouse claiming alimony and the income and assets of the party paying the alimony.

How is debt divided in a divorce in South Africa?

If the parties were married to each other in community of property, they both would be responsible for the debt in equal shares.  A creditor may, however, proceed against any of the spouses for the Dead and the specific spouse who paid it may claim half the debt from the other spouse.

Who pays attorney fees in divorce in South Africa?

A party to divorce proceedings will have to pay for his or her attorney fees.

What is considered an unfit parent in South Africa?

In short, an unfit parent is a parent who unreasonably neglects the child.

What is considered legally separated in South Africa?

In South Africa, the only form of dissolution of a marriage is done via a divorce.  Therefore, for a couple to be legally separated, they need to obtain a decree of divorce from the court.

Can you go to jail if you don’t pay alimony?

Yes, someone can go to jail if he or she refuses to pay alimony in terms of a court order.  However due process first has to follow.

Is not paying alimony a crime?

If the divorce court ordered you to pay alimony or personal maintenance to your former spouse and you failed to do so,  you are committing a criminal offence.

How do you know if a divorce is final?

A divorce is only final once a judge granted a decree of divorce.  This you can ascertain by visiting the divorce court and asking them to provide you with the contents of the divorce file.

How much does the average divorce lawyer cost?

Divorce lawyer fees vary from city to city and based upon their legal experiences.  You may find a junior divorce lawyer charging a fee of R 500 per hour and a senior divorce lawyer charging a fee in excess of R 2000 – 00.  It all depends on the lawyer and his or her years of experience and the complication of your case.

What happens when a divorce is filed?

From a legal point of view when one party files for a divorce everything that usually applies for the marriage still continues.  The only time where they are legal consequences is when a court makes such an order.  Therefore, even if one party instituted divorce for the seedings it does not mean a spouse can disregard their matrimonial property regime or get married to someone else.

How do I leave my husband without a divorce?

In South Africa, a divorce is the only manner in which to end a marriage.  If you and your spouse are separated even for a very long time you are still married to each other.  Therefore, either spouse may marry another person.  Moreover, if both parties are no longer interested in remaining married,  then, under those circumstances, it is advised that they seek a divorce decree.

How do you bounce back financially after a divorce?

It is important that once a party decided to divorce, he or she needs to think about life post the divorce sooner than later.  Therefore, a party should not wait until he or she is divorced before looking for work or trying to financially secure him or her.

Should I file for divorce or let him?

If the marriage has broken down irretrievably and there are no prospects of the restoration of a normal marital relationship, then we advise you to proceed with divorce proceedings as soon as possible.

Please share. Someone in need may find it useful.

Related Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Call Now ButtonCall now