Divorce lawyers are attorneys who specialise in the legal process of divorce, also known as the dissolution of marriage. They are trained in the laws that govern divorce, property division, child custody, and other related issues. Divorce lawyers assist clients in navigating the legal process of divorce, which can be complex and emotionally challenging.
They may negotiate on behalf of their clients, draft legal documents such as divorce petitions, and represent clients in court proceedings. Divorce lawyers may also advise their clients on the best course of action to take in order to achieve their desired outcome in the divorce process. Read on to find the best divorce lawyers in South Africa.
Divorce Lawyers Across South Africa
What Makes a Good Divorce Lawyer?
A good divorce lawyer should have the following qualities.
A good divorce lawyer should have experience handling divorce cases similar to yours. They should have a deep understanding of the legal system and be able to navigate the complexities of divorce law.
A good divorce lawyer should have excellent communication skills, both verbal and written. They should be able to clearly explain legal concepts and procedures to you in a way that you can understand.
Divorce lawyers should be empathetic and able to understand the emotional toll that divorce can take on their clients. They should be able to provide emotional support and guidance throughout the divorce process.
A good divorce lawyer should be a strategic thinker and be able to develop effective legal strategies to achieve their clients’ goals. They should be able to anticipate potential issues and plan accordingly.
Attention to Detail
A good divorce lawyer should be detail-oriented and meticulous in their work. They should be able to review legal documents and contracts with a fine-toothed comb to ensure that everything is in order.
A good divorce lawyer should be professional at all times, treating their clients and opposing counsel with respect. They should be responsive to their clients’ needs and keep them informed about the progress of their case.
Divorce lawyers should be creative in their approach to problem-solving. They should be able to think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions to complex legal issues.
Steps to Follow When Getting Divorced
Follow the steps below in order to make the process of your divorce as smooth as possible.
Get Legal Advice
If divorce is in your future, it’s best to seek counsel from an experienced attorney specializing in family law or a clerk at the High Court nearest you. Divorce laws can be complex and varied; for example, if you’re married under community of property rules, all joint assets will likely need to be split equally between partners.
To learn more about how this could impact your case specifically – as well as other helpful information regarding separation – contact one of the following: The High Court, NGOs such as Nicro, UWC Community Law Centre , Southern Divorce Court or Family Law Clinic.
Prepare your Documents
When filing for a divorce, you will require lawful copies of the following: your South African identity document, marriage license, children’s birth certificates (if applicable), and ante-nuptial agreement (if necessary).
Moreover, any other relevant documents or additional paperwork must be provided by the court or law firm handling your circumstance. The exact details may vary depending on the nature of your divorce.
Once you have submitted a divorce application, the registrar will open an official case file and supply a corresponding summons. You must then make two photocopies of your paperwork bundle and forward the document to be served on your spouse by way of the sheriff’s office.
Applying for your Divorce
There are two main types of divorce proceedings: uncontested, which involves agreement between both parties on the divorce and its terms; or contested, in which one spouse does not agree to the dissolution. Despite these differences, there remains a set of common steps for any couple going through either type of separation process.
- Visit the High Court or a Family Court in your local area.
- For guidance regarding your summons, ask a clerk for help. Your divorce’s grounds, information about the children and assets involved will be included in the document.
- To complete the process, you must photocopy and present all necessary documents to the clerk.
- The clerk will sign it and give a reference number.
- To complete the process, you must present the original copies to a sheriff of court. Thankfully, your friendly clerk can point you to one!
- The sheriff will bring the summons to your significant other, and the document will contain a deadline by which they can submit their rebuttal.
- If both parties abide by the pre-arranged terms and no counterclaims are submitted, your divorce will be recorded with the high court and you’ll move forward to an in-court hearing.
- When the plaintiff (the person who is bringing forward a legal case) appears in court, they may be asked to provide information on their claims by a judge. This process can then lead to the dissolution of your marriage.
- If, however, your partner is not in agreement with the details stated within the summons document, they may submit a counterclaim.
- He/she must craft a well-articulated defense document.
- It’s time to prepare for your trial! Make sure you have all the necessary documents ready that will be utilized throughout the duration of this critical process.
- You must attend court and could require witnesses to support your case.
- After both parties have presented their arguments, the judge will make a final determination about your marriage based on the evidence submitted and heard in court.
Taking the initiative to apply for a divorce without professional legal assistance can be daunting. However the court clerk is available to help you through each step of your application. Additionally, several organizations exist that offer support and guidance throughout this process as well as supplying all necessary paperwork required for filing.
A default divorce is similar to an uncontested/unopposed dissolution, and is used when your partner does not have any objections or disputes.
Your partner will receive a summons with a date. The date is a time frame for them to respond.
If you don’t receive a response from your spouse, you may apply to the High Court for an order that adds your marriage dissolution to their docket. Thereby, allowing them to make a ruling on behalf of both parties and officially bringing an end to your union.
When divorce is a struggle and you need extra help, seek out an attorney. Or, if you prefer to handle the situation peacefully on your own terms, consider mediation. With assistance from someone knowledgeable in law guiding both of you towards coming to a mutual understanding.
As you navigate through your divorce, it’s understandable to feel a range of emotions. Although not everyone experiences all the feelings listed below, seeking out professional counseling can help you manage this emotionally turbulent time.
During this phase, it is normal to try and suppress your emotions by pretending you are “fine” or that everything is “okay”. Divorce is a monumental event with intense feelings attached.
Taking the time to grieve can help process these complex emotions. If you find yourself feeling emotionally distant during this period, it may be an indication of denial as part of the coping mechanism for grief.
When your emotions have been repressed, anger often follows denial as you comprehend the situation at hand. You may direct this fury towards your partner or take it out on yourself; however, regardless of its origin, these feelings are entirely normal.
“If only I could’ve changed the way it all went down.” These regretful thoughts can fill you with guilt and sorrow for not doing things differently. You may even find yourself reflecting on fond memories within your marriage, now tinged with sadness due to how much has been lost.
This period can be dark and dismal, lasting for months with seemingly no end in sight. You may feel like giving up on life altogether; an oppressive mood shrouding you all day long is not uncommon during this stage.
Embrace the pain of disappointment to achieve acceptance and move forward. If you find yourself unable to manage your emotions, it might be worthwhile considering professional counseling.