Family LAw

Family law is the area of law that relates to the relationship between family members whether they are parents, children, spouses, grandparents or siblings.

Because your family is important to you, they are important to us. We strive to approach every matter with trust, care, respect and compassion to ease the psychological impact on the family and to achieve the desired positive legal outcome for both you and your family.

Your matter will be assessed during the first consultation (which is free). The fee arrangement pertaining to your individual matter will only be confirmed during consultation.

Blank Closed

DIVORCES

The dissolution of a marriage is a complex process with long-term effects.

Divorce refers to the legal dissolution of a marriage by court and is commenced when one party serves the other with a summons, which sets out their claim with regards to immovable and movable property, finances, spousal maintenance, if any, child maintenance, pension funds, policies, etc.

There are typically two types of divorces, viz.: the contested and the uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce is usually quick to resolve, whereas a contested divorce can take much longer before the parties reach settlement between themselves or in the absence thereof, takes the matter to trial for the court to make an Order. An uncontested divorce is one in which you and your spouse work together to agree on the terms of your divorce. This includes how to divide your assets and which parent will become the parent of primary residence and which will be the parent of alternate residence. A settlement agreement is then drafted and signed by both parties.

 The contested divorce process is much more expensive and consists of the following stages:

  • pleadings;
  • application for and set down of trial date;
  • discovery of documents;
  • further discovery and particulars;
  • pre-trial conference;
  • trial; and
  • judgment.

At Simpsons Attorneys Inc. we wish to guide you through this process and endeavour to act in your best interests at all times.

MAINTENANCE AND INTERIM MAINTENANCE

Where children are concerned during divorce, it is often the case that one of the spouses is ordered to pay maintenance. Interim maintenance refers to maintenance that is ordered to be paid while the divorce proceedings are still being finalised. An amendment can be made to this if there is a material change in either of the parties’ financial circumstances.

PARENTING PLANS

A Parenting plan is a written agreement between the parents and indicates how each parent will exercise their parental responsibilities and rights in terms of the minor child after a divorce or separation. Such a parenting plan may be reviewed from time to time to be in line with the developmental changes of the child
.

This can aim to resolve the following issues:

  • where and with whom the child will live primarily;
  • the exercising of contact with the other parent (the alternate residence);
  • maintenance for the child; as well as
  • schooling and upbringing of the minor child.

RELOCATION APPLICATIONS

Relocation disputes occur when both parents have guardianship, though one appeals to relocate with the child. It is necessary to have the consent of both parents when relocating with a minor. The High Court, as upper guardian of all children, will only grant a relocation order when the court is satisfied that such order will be in the best interest of the child. Each case deals with its own circumstances for relocation, but an important factor taken into consideration by the court is if the decision by the parent to relocate is reasonable and taken in good faith.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Domestic violence happens where there is actual injury / harm to a person or at least a threatened violation of that person’s rights, while being in a domestic relationship. Some of the types of domestic violence may include acts of physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, psychological abuse, harassment, intimidation.

PROTECTION ORDERS

If a person believes that they are subjected to domestic violence, he/she is able to apply for a protection order against the abuser. This protection order is a court order wherein the abuser is ordered to stop the abuse in question and to comply with the conditions imposed by court.

CARE AND PROTECTION

We do appearances in the Children's Court in terms of the care and protection of minor children.