Family and Matrimonial Law

HJW Attorneys specialise in family law and matrimonial law. We understand the complexities of everyday life and how much disruption family issues, separation and divorce can cause. Our aim is to find the best possible solution for you, focusing on the needs of your children and yourself. HJW Attorneys is also a leader in family dispute resolution and divorce mediation within Gauteng.

Unopposed and Opposed Divorces

Unopposed divorces are usually accompanied by a settlement agreement and parenting plan that is negotiated by our team of family law specialists. The process, once settled, can take as quick as a few weeks to finalise, and ensures that all parties are satisfied that the best interests of their children are taken care of, and that all their financial needs are catered for.

Opposed divorces generally involve complex residency, contact and care battles, and may often involve intricate financial inquiries, the piercing of trusts and a trial involving experts to guide the courts on any of the above aspects. HJW Attorneys works closely with, and has a network of highly qualified forensic psychologists and Senior Counsel Advocates to assist you in any matter, no matter how acrimonious.

Primary Residence Disputes

During divorce proceedings, a decision needs to be made with regards to the primary residence of minor children. In instances where legal assistance is required to settle this dispute, HJW Attorneys has a highly skilled legal team to assist parents in coming to a solution that is in the best interests of the minor children.

Child Care and Contact Disputes

As experts in all aspects of family law, HJW Attorneys ensure that our client’s rights as parents are protected, safeguarded and entrenched. Our attorneys are trained in negotiating and mediating child care and contact disputes. If necessary, we possess the requisite litigation skills and expertise to defend your rights in Court, should the other party not be willing to negotiate or mediate.

Maintenance

HJW Attorneys can assist clients in enforcing and varying maintenance orders and can advise and assist clients in pursuing criminal sanctions for a failure to pay maintenance.

Our attorneys are also highly skilled in obtaining the best interim maintenance orders (Rule 43 in the High Courts and Rule 58 in the Regional Magistrate’s Courts) pending the finalisation of a divorce. In these interim proceedings, HJW Attorneys can obtain contact and care of children and a contribution towards pending divorce costs for our clients.

Guardianship

In the event of a parent or parents being unable or unwilling to care for a child, or should the parent or parents pass away, HJW Attorneys can expertly assist with legal guardianship applications.

Domestic Violence and Protection Orders

HJW Attorneys can facilitate the obtaining or opposing of a protection order or domestic violence order as it is more commonly known, on behalf of our clients.

Adoption

There are various steps involved in legal adoption. The first step is the termination of the parental rights of a child’s birthparents. The final step is the finalisation of adoption in court, making you the legal parents of your adopted child. HJW Attorneys will expertly assist you to ensure that your child’s adoption process is successful.

Antenuptial Contracts

Marital property regimes and marriage contracts in South Africa are divided into Community of Property and Out of Community of Property antenuptial contracts (with or without the application of the accrual system). It is very important to note that if you do not enter into an antenuptial contract, you will automatically be married in community of property, which is not the system of choice for most people. It is therefore imperative that you obtain proper advice on your options before getting married.

HJW Attorneys specialise in drawing up antenuptial contracts. We can provide expert assistance in tailoring these contracts to suit your specific situation and can offer detailed advice to you and your intended spouse, in order to protect both parties in their future marriage, at a set, all-inclusive fee.

Mediation

Mediation is often a much cheaper alternative to litigation and our attorneys are specialised in, and trained to mediate disputes, especially those involving complex matrimonial and family law matters.

Variation of Matrimonial Property Regimes 

Very often, and for various reasons, it is desirable to change the way in which you were married. This could be that you were married in a way that had consequences that you did not intend, or to protect you or your estate. Whatever the reason for the variation, HJW Attorneys can provide you with expert assistance.

Wills and Estates

We offer professional legal advice to clients, when drawing up wills that will protect your legacy, interests and wishes in the event of your passing. We also offer assistance in winding up of deceased estates, and act as executors in deceased estates.