How much do divorce lawyers cost in South Africa 2022? Divorce lawyer fees

How much do divorce lawyers cost in South Africa 2022? Divorce lawyer fees

When people get married, it is always a case of till death do us part. But that is not always the case. At times issues happen in a marriage prompting the parties to file for annulment. But do you know how much divorce lawyers cost in South Africa in 2022? It is high time you learn about the associated costs and the process involved. This article has that and much more.

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How much does it cost to file for divorce in SA?
When people get married, it is always a case of till death do us part. But that is not always the case. Photo: @Divatt
Source: Instagram

How much do divorce lawyers cost in South Africa? Most people think having the process sail through will only cost them a fraction of their savings. The truth is that it can cost more than you think and even drain all your savings to end a marriage. This article has everything you would love to know about divorce lawyer's cost.

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The Law

In South African law, divorce refers to the cessation or cancellation of a marital union. Therefore, a decree of annulment could be granted on the grounds of adultery, terminal insanity for a minimum of seven years, and detention of the defendant's spouse for a minimum of five years. It can also be granted on the basis of an irrevocable breakdown of the marriage, among other factors.

How much does a divorce cost in South Africa?

Do you need a lawyer to get divorced in South Africa?
It is unavoidable to facilitate the legal end of what was once a loving partnership. Photo: @Divatt
Source: Instagram

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When people marry, they always do so, intending to stay together. However, the aspects of partying ways are not always in the picture. It stands to reason then that the cost of annulment is not budgeted. Therefore, it is unavoidable to facilitate the legal end of what was once a loving partnership.

How much is a divorce lawyer? The cost of annulment, therefore, depends on the type of divorce. It can either be contested or uncontested. However, there is no conclusive answer to how much a lawyer for annulment should charge. It is very much on a case-by-case basis and depends on whether you go for a fixed fee or hour.

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Contested divorce

A contested divorce is where the parties involved cannot agree on crucial considerations, such as child care support and the division of significant assets. In this case, the whole process goes to trial, and the judge becomes the arbiter.

In this, an attorney will expect you to pay for a significant number of hours; most of them charge per hour. They may charge anything from R500 to R3000 per hour, depending on their experience. The money is paid into the attorney's trust account. As the case progresses, the attorney will ask for more upfront payments.

Uncontested divorce

In an uncontested divorce, the parties are left to agree on how assets will be divided and how they will be taken care of if there are children. This is a much more peaceable course of action and one that leaves everyone's dignity. Usually, a parenting plan is developed, which becomes part of your annulment settlement.

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How much does it cost to file for divorce in SA? Your attorney will most likely charge a fixed fee for the work done in this process. In addition, you will be required to pay a deposit, commonly known as a retainer. Unopposed annulments are typically charged at a set fee, and the amount varies between R10 000 and R20 000. However, you may find cheap divorce lawyers charging R1000.

Expenses

How much does it cost to file for divorce in SA?
The agreement should allow you to terminate the attorney's services if you deem it not at per. Photo: @Divatt
Source: Instagram

You may also be charged for other associated expenses such as postage, copying, telephone calls, emails, etc. Therefore, ensure all these costs are captured in the agreement. In addition, the agreement may require you to foot the fees of other professionals involved in your case. These may include social workers, child-care experts, real-estate valuers, forensic auditors, etc.

Termination of the agreement

The agreement should allow you to terminate the attorney's services if you deem it not at per. However, your attorney will have to retain your file if you have arrears. Therefore, if you decide to change your lawyer, ensure you make your full payment to have access to your file.

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Divorce process

Who pays for divorce in South Africa?
A significant issue in a divorce case is the legal costs and who must pay. Photo: @Divatt
Source: Instagram

The process of annulment in South Africa consists of the following steps:

  • Schedule a consultation with your attorney.
  • Draft a divorce summons. The court issues the summons on behalf of the person instigating the action.
  • The Sherrif delivers the summons to the other spouse.
  • The defendant acknowledges the contents of the summons.
  • The defendant further provides a counterclaim document, which provides what the defendant wants the annulment order to determine.
  • The plaintiff then applies for a trial date.
  • When the parties have reached an annulment agreement, the court will decide to take the process to trial.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the questions about divorce fees and processes. The answers given are thoroughly researched to give credible info. Learn more here!

Who pays for divorce in South Africa?

A significant issue in an annulment case is the legal costs and who must pay. If one spouse is unemployed and the other the primary breadwinner, the breadwinner, at the end of the day, will have to pay the costs of both sides or at least contribute to that.

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Do you need a lawyer to get divorced in South Africa?

In simple cases, annulment is possible without an attorney. In what is informally known as a DIY divorce, you can get the required forms from your local magistrate's court or use an online divorce service. This process is for uncontested and straightforward cases. Nevertheless, in complicated cases, your need an attorney to represent you through the process.

What is the cheapest way to get divorced?

The cheapest way to get the divorce would be to fill out the papers with your spouse, rather than having a lawyer fill out the papers and jointly ask for the divorce order. You can find the papers online, fill them out with your spouse and then bring them to the court to be filed.

How long does a divorce take in South Africa?

An uncontested annulment can be finalized in as little as 4 weeks. If a divorce is contested, it may take between 2 – 3 years, but most contested divorces settle long before they go on trial.

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Above is all you need to know about divorce lawyers' costs in South Africa in 2022. It is advisable to see a divorce attorney before you proceed with a life-changing procedure such as an annulment, as it will have significant consequences on your estate and personal well-being.

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