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In this series of short articles, Richard Wands, the Managing Partner of HJW Attorneys, the largest firm of attorneys in Fourways, will discuss the various aspects to getting divorced, from start to finish and will also discuss important concepts related to family law in general. 

  1. Contemplating divorce

I want a divorce” is a phrase that most married couples dread. However, and sadly, the more common threat that gets thrown around is more along the lines of “you will never see your children again” or “you will never see a cent and I will leave you with nothing”.

Both are equally harmful and emotionally damaging, but generally, nothing more than empty threats.  So what do you do when you are faced with any one, or a combination of threats such as these? The obvious answer is to see an attorney, but not for the reasons you would expect.

This is because when it comes to getting divorced, there is no quick fix and so when seeing an attorney for the first time, the objective should not be on how to immediately resolve the issue which is unrealistic, but rather this should be a strategic, information gathering session where you are informed about your rights as a whole. These rights relate to proprietary aspects (your assets), maintenance (for your children and possibly yourself),  contact to your children, and being provided with all the information necessary to empower you to withstand what is arguably one of the toughest legal procedures a party may endure.

You may yourself wish to obtain advice on getting divorced without any threats but merely because the marriage has run its course, and the first and most important step you can take is to equip yourself with as much knowledge as possible on divorce and family law, from an experienced practitioner and not just from Google.

In the next article, I will discuss the various steps involved in initiating divorce proceedings, or conversely what to do if divorce proceedings are initiated against you.

Richard can be contacted on richard@hjw.co.za or 010 448 0609