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FAQ

What will the cost be to get a uncontested divorce?

The cost for a uncontested divorce will not be the same as a contested divorce. You may discuss and negotiate the cost and different payment options available with your attorney during consultation. Prices start from R 6 000-00 with payment options available.

How long does it take to get a uncontested divorce?

A uncontested divorce can be finalized within 4 – 6 weeks.

What will the cost be to get a contested divorce?

It is uncertain how much a contested divorce will cost. There are many factors to consider for instance, the manner in which you are married, the assets and liabilities that needs to be divided and where the primary residence of the minor children will be. Attorneys work on a hourly rate. It further depends if you have signed a mandate with your attorney for their fees or working according to the fix tariffs set out in the Rules of Court . A contested divorce can take up to 1 – 3 years depending on the dispute between the parties. The faster you settle the dispute can prevent you and your partner from incurring tremendous legal costs.

 How long does it take to get a contested divorce?

A contested divorce can take between 1 – 3 years depending on the dispute between the parties.

Your partner wants to get divorced. Can you recover all the fees you have paid to the attorney?

It depends if the cost order is granted in your favour.

Party and Party costs:

These are necessary costs incurred in the action. This refers to reasonable fees and disbursements incurred by your attorney in the specific action.

These costs are governed by the Magistrates’ Courts Act, 1944 (Act No. 32 of 1944) and the Supreme Court Act, 1959 (Act No. 59 of 1959) with fixed tariffs.

When the cost of the action is awarded on a party and party basis, these costs are rewarded to the client and not the attorney. You will still have to settle your attorneys account by paying in the difference between your costs and your attorney’s account.

Attorney and client costs:

These costs are similar to party and party costs. When you instruct your attorney to institute proceedings on your behalf you will sign a mandate with your attorney for their specific tariffs and hourly tariffs. When you get awarded attorney and client costs you are untitled to all the fees and disbursements incurred in line with your signed mandate and not only necessary fees and disbursements as with party and party costs.

In party in party costs you will not be able to recover every letter and telephone call between yourself and your attorney. If you get awarded with attorney and client costs you will be able to recover these costs.

Attorney and Own Client Costs:

These costs are as per agreement or as commonly known a mandate between your attorney and yourself.

This mandate is binding as you enter into an agreement with your attorney and will be held liable for the costs. Make sure and discuss al the aspects of your mandate with your attorney before signing the agreement.

If there is no agreement between the attorney and his or her client regarding fees, then the scale set out in the party and party scale will apply.

Deposits:

Before taking on a instruction most attorneys will require a deposit on trust. This protects the attorney against possible non-payment of their fees.

Most attorneys will render their invoice at the end of the month and deduct the money from the deposit in trust. If the deposit on trust are exhausted they will require that you pay an additional deposit amount into their trust account.

At any time during the proceedings or services rendered by the attorney, the client should be able to request a copy of their account.

 What documents will I need to commence the divorce procedure?

Copy of both parties identity documents;
Copy Antenuptial Agreement, if applicable;
Copy of your marriage certificate;
Copy of your minor children’s birth certificates;

Contested Divorce:

Proof of income of your spouse;
Financial statements of Close Corporations or Companies where your spouse is self-employed;
IRP5’s and Tax returns;
Copies of Retirement Fund documents;
Copies of Bank Statements and Credit Card Statements;
Copies of Tax Invoices paid towards the communal home, eg. furniture, appliances;
Copies of Trust Deeds and Letter of Authority, if applicable;

If you already moved out of the communal home:

Proof of income and expenses towards yourself and the minor children.

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