Divorce is more than just the paperwork

Divorce should be fair, family first and future-focused. Despite your best efforts, your personal life may have disintegrated to a point where you feel hopeless and helpless. The countless fights and your partner’s behaviour may have left you feeling deflated and defeated.

You may struggle with your day-to-day demands because of this emotional roller coaster that just doesn’t seem to stop. The anger and disappointment may cloud your better judgement. As expert divorce attorneys, we’re here to help.

Divorce Agreement Guidelines

Divorce agreements enable spouses to leave the marriage and build new lives in a wholesome and fulfilling way.

They set out guiding factors including the type of marriage and details of any ante-nuptial contract entered into prior to the marriage, and confirm the divorce settlement, including:

  • Maintenance payments to be made to a spouse or for children
  • Guardianship, custody and access to children
  • The division of assets including the home
  • Arrangements regarding medical aid and retirement plans and other relevant matters

The agreement can also provide guidelines for other issues that are important to the couple, for example how they will divide or continue to operate a business they are both involved in. It allows the couple to clearly define how they will divide, structure and conduct previously shared aspects of their lives in the future.


Types of divorce in South Africa

There are essentially three ways to get divorced in South Africa. The type of divorce procedure profoundly affects the practical matters of how long the divorce procedure will take and how much the procedure will cost.

The three types of divorce include:

  • Uncontested divorce
  • Mediated divorce
  • Contested divorce

The longer and more contentious the divorce process, the greater the negative impact on the family’s mental and emotional well-being.


Divorce with children

The relationship with your spouse is complex, and requires a divorce attorney who is both discreet and professional. Through mediation and family law, we will help you safely negotiate the split and secure care and contact rights that are in the best interests of the child.

The idea of consulting a divorce attorney could leave you feeling apprehensive and disillusioned. You must act quickly and responsibly to avoid children being caught in the middle.

For healthy closure, your needs and the lifestyle of your children must be protected by putting a reasonable maintenance in place.


Child maintenance

Under South African law children have the right to receive financial maintenance. Both parents, whether married or not, are required to provide financial support for a child.

Maintenance amounts must be negotiated and finalised according to the Maintenance Act 99 of 1998 and the Children’s Act 38 of 2005. Parents are obliged to pay for their children’s upbringing. Their respective payments depend on how much each earns.

The amount paid to the primary caregiver is based on the monthly earnings of each parent and the cost of the child’s education, care and upbringing. Maintenance orders are orders of the court. Failure to meet these obligations is a criminal offence.


Grounds for divorce

In South Africa there are only three grounds for divorce, two of which are very rare.

1. Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage

The relationship has deteriorated to the point where it cannot be restored. According to the Divorce Act 70 of 1979, certain circumstances can be classed as causing irreversible damage to a marriage:

  • Separation for a continued period of at least one year
  • Adultery: contrary to what some believe, and what was the case historically, adultery in itself is not grounds for divorce. It is no longer possible to sue a third party for “alienation of affection”. Adultery is the reason why one spouse may feel there is no likelihood of reconciliation and thus the marriage has irretrievably broken down
  • The defendant has committed multiple crimes and/or is serving time in jail
2. Mental illness
3. Continuous unconsciousness for a period of at least six months


How our divorce attorneys can help

We adopt an emotionally intelligent style in advising you about your rights and the responsibilities flowing from your marriage with your partner.

We will always try to resolve any disagreements between you and your partner efficiently. We take care to highlight the precise legal options available to you to protect your children, your assets and yourself from unnecessary financial or emotional harm.


We protect your legal interests

Divorce is one of the most powerfully stressful experiences that humans can experience. It has a profound impact on the mental, emotional and physical and psychological well-being of all family members.

As divorce attorneys, we can help to keep you safe. We will fight on your behalf, protecting your legal interests with uncompromising dignity.


Contact us

There’s no sense delaying any longer when we can be your counsel and divorce support.

Divorce Attorney Simon Dippenaar, has a BBusSc LLB degree & professional diploma in legal practice from the University of Cape Town, and is an admitted attorney of the High Court of South Africa.

Simon’s dedication, diplomacy and compassionate approach extend from family law to each of his fields of expertise and have earned him a reputation for cracking cases where his competitors have failed.

Contact Simon now about getting divorced.

For more information on Cape Town divorce attorneys visit: www.divorceattorneycapetown.co.za


Testimonials – “Best Divorce Attorneys in Cape Town”

“I am so thankful to Simon Dippenaar for going out of his way and making sure everything worked out in the best interest of my children.

I was very impressed with his strategies, energy and professionalism and my case was finalised in a fast, successful and efficient way. Simon is an experienced, knowledgeable divorce attorney, always present and thoughtful. Thank you Simon for guiding me throughout the most tumultuous time of my life. I will continue to recommend SD Law whenever it is called for.”

Read our Guide to Divorce.

Read more about divorce

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