Matrimonial Matters

Our team at A Batchelor & Associates offers specialised services in relation to all areas of family law, including matrimonial, divorce, and child-related matters. We offer professional assistance in dealing with:

  • Advice on matrimonial systems;
  • Ante-nuptial contracts;
  • Variation of matrimonial systems and post-nuptial agreements;
  • Divorce processes; and
  • Parenting / child-care plans.

MATRIMONIAL PROPERTY SYSTEMS IN SOUTH AFRICA:

In Community of Property

If you do not conclude and register an ante-nuptial agreement, your marriage will automatically be deemed to be in community of property. This means that all assets and liabilities acquired by each spouse both before the marriage and during the subsistence of the marriage will be owned equally by each spouse. At the dissolution of the marriage, all assets and liabilities will be divided equally between the parties.

Out of Community of Property without Accrual

Prospective spouses can elect to marry out of community of property by entering into an ante-nuptial contract (an agreement entered into before the marriage). This agreement entails complete separation of property. There is no joining of the spouse’s estates, and each spouse’s separate estate consists of his or her pre-marital assets and liabilities, as well as all the assets and liabilities that are acquired during the subsistence of the marriage.

Out of Community of Property with Accrual

"Accrual" is the extent to which the respective estates of each spouse have grown by the end of the marriage, in other words, the amount by which the spouses' joint wealth has increased over the period of the marriage. If married out of community of property with the accrual system, then upon the dissolution of the marriage either by death or divorce, the spouse with the smaller accrual will have a claim against the one with the greater accrual for half the difference between the two amounts.

DIVORCE:

The divorce process can be an emotionally and financially challenging time, which is why we ensure a personalised approach to assisting you, our client, to achieve the best possible outcome in the circumstances.

Our divorce system in South Africa is "no fault", meaning that if one of the parties to the marriage believes that there has been an 'irretrievable breakdown of the marriage relationship', and there are no reasonable prospects of restoring it, then a divorce will be granted.

A divorce can be opposed or unopposed. In an unopposed divorce, the parties reach a mutual settlement agreement relating to the terms of the divorce and the matter can be finalised within a reasonably short period of time. However, should a matter be contested (opposed divorce), then the period of finalisation as well as the total legal fees involved will depend on the complexity of each individual case.

Our family law expert, Desiré Smit, will be able to offer you the best guidance and support in your divorce matter.

WHAT IS THIS GOING TO COST ME?

In a family law matter you will be required to pay an upfront deposit. The amount is not fixed and this can be negotiated with your attorney based on the type of matter, complexity and time involved.

There are various options available to structure a fee for representing you in your family law matter, and these can be discussed upfront with your attorney beforehand. We can also provide advice on how to cut down on any unnecessary legal expenses.