Legal Issues: Should I Get a Divorce?
The person you once were when you said “I do” may have changed and you may no longer want or be able to live with your spouse in a marital relationship. At this stage, you may ask, “should I get a divorce?” The answer depends on why you want to get a divorce. Perhaps your spouse is also asking “should I get a divorce?”
Though divorce can be rather straightforward, you have to consider the emotional, financial, and social effects of going your separate ways. Not living together is not a sufficient reason for a divorce and the court must be convinced that the relationship has broken down to a point of no return. So, before you ask if you should get a divorce, consider whether marriage counselling or perhaps a change in your circumstances can bring about reconciliation between the two of you. If not, and you have children, assets to divide, responsibilities which must be shared and more, first seek legal guidance on how to proceed.
The attorney understands the legal processes and the trauma associated with the ending of a marriage. And the attorney can advise you on asset division, how to contest a divorce, how to ensure that the best interests of the children from your marriage receive priority and more.
The proceedings are started by means of a summons. In South Africa, you can apply for divorce at the Magistrate Court in the area where you are located, or you can apply at the High Court of the country. The summons is hand-delivered by the Sheriff of the Court.
Should I make use of the services offered by a family law attorney?
Although you can follow the DIY route, it is not recommended if you have children and foresee problems regarding guardianship. The attorney is knowledgeable in family law matters and can advise you regarding maintenance payments, possible pitfalls related to asset division, combined debt, or the effect of sequestration on the assets of the other spouse, even if proceedings have already been initiated.
With so many factors to consider, it is best to seek legal guidance even if it is an uncontested divorce. Your spouse may decide to oppose your application, so to prevent a lengthy battle for custody or assets, it is best to make use of an attorney who has your best interests at heart. You will also benefit from the legal expertise regarding reasons that the Court will accept for ending the marriage.
Get in touch with our experienced family law attorneys to help you get answers to the question of “Should I get a divorce?” and related matters.
Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Call on our attorneys rather than relying on the information herein to make any decisions. The information is relevant to the date of publishing. January 2020.