How Much Does a Divorce Cost in South Africa? | Legal Articles


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How Much Does a Divorce Cost in South Africa?

In South Africa, four out of ten marriages make it to their ten-year anniversary. This is a scary statistic for anyone who is about to get married – but what’s even more daunting is the amount of money couples spend on getting divorced.

Divorce Lawyers Cost

Getting Divorced in South Africa

The cost of getting divorced in South Africa depends on whether the divorce is contested, uncontested or mediated.

Additionally, it depends on what marriage regime you are married under – in community of property, out of community of property (with accrual or without accrual) or married with an antenuptial contract.

Contested Divorce

  • Parties do not agree on divorce conditions

If your divorce is contested – it is likely to cost a lot of money. This is because the attorney of each partner accumulates billable hours as they negotiate terms and conditions in an attempt to reach a divorce settlement.

Often contested divorces do not reach their court appearance as most reach a settlement beforehand. However, the cost is incurred during the negotiation process which can take months if not years in situations where parties are bitter and resentful.

Uncontested Divorce

  • Parties agree to divorce conditions

An uncontested divorce is a quicker process as both parties agree to the terms and conditions of the divorce settlement. This type of divorce can be completed in roughly 6 weeks and can cost between R10 000.00 to R20 000.00 depending on whether property/children are involved.

Mediated Divorce

  • Parties debate and discuss conditions in the presence of a qualified mediator

As the mediator is not elected by the family attorney – their bill is completely separate to that of your lawyer’s fees. This means that in addition to paying your attorney’s fees, you will also have to pay the mediator’s fees.

The cost of a mediated divorce depends on the amount of time it takes parties to come to an agreement. Unfortunately, this type of divorce can also be costly.

How your Marriage Regime Effects the Cost of Divorce

As mentioned above, the marriage regime chosen has a big impact on the cost of your divorce.

Couples married in community of property have a lot to debate and divide. There is no certainty on what belongs to who and who gets what in the case of divorce.

For couples married with an antenuptial contract, it is clear what party entered the marriage with and what their takings will be if they divorce. This is the “optimal” divorce situation as the process is quicker and easier – leaving only the paperwork to be completed.

Van Deventer & Van Deventer Inc. – Family Lawyers Johannesburg and Cape Town

Our family law department has helped many couples navigate the emotional journey that is divorce. We place huge importance on ensuring our clients are kept informed and are well aware of how sensitive this time is for the parties involved.

Contact us for more information about our legal services.

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