Article by Durban divorce attorney: Fawzia Khan
Recognizing that a marriage is heading for collapse and that a divorce is now a sad reality, must rank as one of the most stressful periods in a person’s life. Because of the amount of personal and emotional turmoil a person is besieged with during this time, it’s important that correct decisions are made in this emotionally volatile time, especially as they will have far reaching consequences. The role of a good divorce attorney at this crucial time cannot be over emphasized.
Your attorney must have the ability to be empathetic to your situations whilst at the same time be able to provide sound legal advice and deliver legal services with professional ease so that you are not overwhelmed by the whole legal process. What the divorce is likely to cost must be discussed. It’s not only the direct monetary costs which should be looked at but also what the emotional cost of the divorce is likely to be on the spouse and children.
Your attorney should be able to provide you with all the options available to you to help to make an informed decision. These options should be broad-based and should include the different types of dispute resolutions which are available to you. Your attorney should explain what is involved in litigation as well as what negotiation means and off course not forgetting the important role which mediation can play in the divorce. The costs and likely outcomes of each of these three forms of dispute resolution should be explored and considered. Even though arbitration is a form of dispute resolution, it is not allowed in divorce matters.
Notwithstanding whichever dispute resolution mechanism is used, there are certain issues which will need to be dealt with on divorce. If there are minor children in the marriage, then decisions need to be made regarding which parent the children will live with after the divorce; what type of contact the non-custodial parent will be given; how much of maintenance is to be paid for the children which parent will be responsible for payment of the children’s education and medical requirements and expenses.
Unsurprising the amount of money which is claimed is almost always a bone of contention amongst the parties. If there was any abuse in the marriage and a spouse fears for her/his safety, it’s a good idea to get a domestic violence protection order against the abusive spouse. Getting interim relief until the divorce is finalized should also be considered. A divorce can take some time before it’s finalized. Bringing an application in which a spouse can get interim relief pending finalization of the divorce has merit.
If the parties are not living under the same roof, the interim relief would also include an order setting out which parent will be given interim primary residence of the children and what kind of contact times the other parent will be allowed with regard to the minor children. Getting a parenting plan in place which would act as blue print in setting how and when each parent interacts with the children is also recommended.
Depending on what type of marriage you have, there may be a need for the assets which you and your spouse own to be identified and values worked out. If the marriage was in community of property marriage, all assets are to be equally divided. If it was an out of community of property, with the accrual system in place, then the accrued value of the assets needs to be determined. In both these cases, it’s important that you have as much documentary information as possible and to hand that over to your attorney.
With over 28 years in legal practice Fawzia Khan is well suited and well able to assist you with legal representation during this turbulent period in your life.
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