Family Law

Our care and expertise will assist you and your family to resolve your issues objectively and without unnecessary emotional turmoil. The aim is to reduce conflict and to find practical, long-term solutions for you.

We are geared to assist you throughout the journey of any Family Law-related matters.

Our Service Offering Includes Advice On:

There are two types of matrimonial regimes: married in community of property or married out of community of property. Being married out of community of property is further subdivided to either include or exclude the accrual system. Your matrimonial regime is determined by the existence or not of an antenuptial contract (also referred as an ANC) when you get married. If you are married without an antenuptial contract, you are married in community of property. We can assist you in drafting an Antenuptial Contract that will guide your matrimonial partnership.  We will also guide, advise and assist you should you find yourself facing the prospect of divorce or other family law matters.

  • Parental responsibilities and rights are those rights and obligations that parents have in respect of their children, regardless of whether the children are born from a marriage relationship or not. This includes the obligation to take care of the child’s physical, educational, and emotional needs, as well as the child’s right to contact with his or her parents. The Children’s Act, 38 of 2005, regulates Parental Responsibilities and Rights.

  • We can assist you in drafting Parental Responsibilities and Rights Agreements to regulate parental responsibilities and rights of parents to children who are born outside of a marriage relationship, in terms of the Children’s Act.

A divorce is a court order granted for the dissolution of a marriage. South Africa has a ‘no fault’ divorce system, which means that a person can obtain a decree of divorce regardless of the reason for the divorce. The only thing that must be proven for a divorce decree, is the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. During a divorce, the following must be decided:

  • The primary residence and care of the children, and the non-residential parent’s contact with the children;
  • The parties’ contributions towards the children’s maintenance needs;
  • The parties’ contributions towards spousal maintenance, if any; and
  • The division of the joint estate or the accrual.

We are a trusted partner to you whilst initiating and/or working through a divorce, as well as in ensuring compliance and/or review of parental contact, children’s maintenance and/or spousal maintenance.

A will is a legal document containing your instructions for the distribution of your goods after your death. It is very important to have a valid, relevant and updated will that governs aspects such as custody of minors, inheritance and beneficiaries of the will, executor of the will.

FAQs

  • Being married in community of property means that you and your spouse share in all the assets and liabilities (e.g. debt) accrued during your marriage. It also requires the permission of both spouses for either one to acquire any liabilities or major assets.

  • Married out of community of property and the accrual: Being married out of community of property entails that you and your spouse will each have your own estates and that neither spouse will require the other’s consent for any financial instructions. The accrual refers to the growth in the estates of you and your spouse since the start of your marriage relationship. The accrual is only determined at the end of the marriage relationship. Being married with the accrual means that each spouse will exit the marriage relationship with at least what they had when they entered the marriage, and that the spouses share in the growth in their estates during the marriage.

  • Maintenance is the contributions to be made in respect of the basic needs of the person or child. This includes housing, clothing, food, medical needs and education. Each parent is responsible for the maintenance needs of a child in proportion to their respective incomes. The obligation to maintain a child continues until the child becomes financially self-supporting.

  • In certain circumstances, a party can also claim maintenance from his or her spouse, pending the finalisation of a divorce or after the granting of a decree of divorce.

An application in terms of Rule 43 in the High Court, and Rule 58 in the Magistrates Court, is an application for relief until the divorce is finalised. These applications typically involve finding interim solutions regarding the primary residence and contact of the children born from the marriage, maintenance for either the children or a spouse, and a contribution towards legal fees. This order will then regulate the arrangements between the parties until the divorce action is finalised.

The Family Advocate is an office appointed and paid for by the state to investigate any disputes regarding minor children. The services of the Family Advocate are free of charge and generally involve an investigation by the office of the Family Advocate and its social workers, followed by a report and recommendations to the court. The Family Advocate must approve and investigate all matters and agreements involving children, and are there to protect the best interests of the children.

The domestic violence courts are aimed at protecting persons and children from physical, emotional, verbal and psychological abuse. The domestic violence court’s processes include obtaining an interim or permanent interdict against the abuser. The court could also provide the victim of abuse with a warrant of arrest for the arrest of the abuser if the abuser betrays the domestic violence order.