Divorce is one of the hardest challenges that a family can ever go through, and in South Africa the numbers are hard to ignore, with a staggering 4 out of 10 marriages ending in divorce. We offer extended services that can take care of you and your family right from the start, with the intention being to identify and assist each client in their divorce, in the most straightforward, cost effective and stress-free way possible.
Family Law Matters are a key focus area at Kim Armfield and Associates. Our team of experienced lawyers and mediators understand that each marriage is unique, which results in a need for customized approaches to each client’s divorce proceedings. Even so, there are certain processes to follow when applying for or contesting a divorce.
Once a client has reached out by making an appointment with one of our family law experts, the first step has been taken in initiating a divorce proceeding. The meeting that follows will determine whether you as a client really wish to proceed with a divorce, or whether you are simply considering your options by seeking out legal advice- either way, our team of legal representatives will discuss options with you, after having gained an understanding of your specific situation. It is not our place to give you the answers or make up your mind, but rather to present you with options worth considering.
As part of our Kim Armfield and Associates divorce proceeding services, we will try to determine if you and your spouse are open to the idea of mediation, which has proven to be an effective process. During mediation, we are impartial and simply aim to move ahead with the best interests of both spouses. In certain cases, mediation is not an option and will not be suggested. We will also take the time to answer questions and assist with any legal advice.
Once a way forward has been determined, our team will present you with estimated costs. The costs will vary, depending on whether the case undergoes mediation, remains an undefended proceeding or becomes a defended matter.
In cases where clients do not opt for mediation, divorce proceedings will commence with our professional team drafting the summons and particulars of your claim – this claim is set out for you (the plaintiff), to be delivered to your spouse (the defendant). If minor children are involved, the details of your claim would need to address the needs of the child properly, through reasonable and clear clauses that have their best interests in mind.
The summons will be issued by a clerk of the court (this usually takes under two weeks), after which it will be served to the defendant, who will then decide (in the allotted time frame of 10 days) to either defend or not defend the matter.
If your spouse receives the summons and decides to defend the matter, this could result in him/her seeking out the services of their own lawyer in defence, where renegotiation and settlement agreements are usually not hard to reach – only in unlikely cases where litigation is unsuccessful could the case possible go to trial – we do our best to avoid this, as it can cause a great deal of unnecessary harm to a family’s well-being.
The last step is for you as the plaintiff (only accompanied by the defendant if they are contesting) to appear in court with the necessary paperwork on the day set down, where a divorce will then be granted legally and fairly.
Find out how Kim Armfield and Associates can help you navigate the uncertainty of your upcoming divorce proceedings. Contact us today for legal advice and more.