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Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Divorce

Divorce can be a challenging and stressful process, both emotionally and financially.

Understanding the various aspects of divorce and the steps you can take to protect yourself and your assets is essential.

In this article, we will briefly cover FAQ topics such as surviving financially after divorce, the timeline for divorce, informing your spouse of your decision, divorce procedures when your spouse is missing, dividing assets in a divorce, the cost of hiring a divorce lawyer, considerations for children in divorce, child support and spousal maintenance, and the consequences of contempt of court.

Understanding these issues allows you to navigate the divorce process with greater confidence and a sense of control.

1.        Surviving Financially After Divorce

1.1       Downgrade to match your new budget

1.2       Seek employment or improve employability

1.3       Find financial mentors

1.4       Seek financial advice from a planner

1.5       Deal with finances promptly

2.        Timeline for Divorce

2.1       Unopposed divorces take 4-6 weeks

2.2       Opposed divorces can take years

2.3       Opposed divorces may be finalized faster in Regional Court than High Court

3.         Informing Spouse of Divorce

3.1       Spouse will eventually be informed when the summons is served

3.2       It is advisable to inform the spouse before the summons is served

3.3       Summons must be personally served by Sheriff

4.         Divorce with Missing Spouse

4.1       Can still proceed with the divorce

4.2       Use Application for Substituted Service if the spouse is in South Africa

4.3       Use Edictal Citation if the spouse is in another country

5.         Dividing Assets in Divorce

5.1       Determined by the marital regime at the time of divorce

5.2       Community of property: deduct total assets from total liabilities to determine estate value

5.3       Antenuptial agreement with accrual: net value of both estates determined, difference divided on the dissolution of marriage

5.4       Antenuptial agreement without accrual: each spouse keeps their own possessions

6.         Cost of Divorce

6.1       Varies greatly among divorce Attorneys

6.2       Factors that can affect cost include the complexity of the case, the Attorney’s hourly rate, and the duration of the case

6.3       Obtain quotes from multiple Attorneys for comparison

7.         Hiring a Divorce Attorney

7.1       Research and compare multiple Attorneys

7.2       Consider the Attorney’s experience, fees, and communication style

7.3       Seek recommendations from trusted sources

7.4       Meet with the Attorney in person before hiring

8.        Children in Divorce

8.1       Both parents have a legal duty to support their children financially

8.2       Court will decide on physical custody and access

8.3       Court will consider the best interests of the child in decision-making

8.4       Parents may make their own custody and access agreements

9.         Child Support

9.1       Calculated based on the Income Shares Model

9.2       Takes into account the income of both parents and the needs of the child

9.3       Can be modified if circumstances change

10.      Spousal Maintenance

10.1     May be ordered by the court for a spouse in need

10.2     Determined based on the financial needs of the spouse and the ability of the other spouses to pay

10.3     Can be temporary or permanent

10.4     May be modified if circumstances change

11.       Contempt of Court

11.1     Disobeying a court order can result in contempt of court charges

11.2     Penalties may include fines or imprisonment

11.3     It is essential to follow all court orders to avoid contempt of court charges

In conclusion, the divorce process can be complex and challenging, but it is essential to be informed about your rights and options.

You can make informed decisions about your future by seeking guidance from qualified divorce attorneys, such as Martin Vermaak Attorneys, seeking financial advice, and understanding the legal procedures and potential outcomes.

It is also essential to consider the needs of any children involved and to follow court orders to avoid contempt of court charges.

While divorce can be a difficult experience, you can move forward with confidence and security by approaching it with knowledge and a plan.

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