Contested divorces as the name suggests, involves a fight or a dispute over the division of marital assets, or even over the initiation of the process itself. Contested divorces are seen as the ‘worst case scenario’ for most as there is no quick or simple resolution and are commonly conflict-filled.
Contested divorces rely on the adversarial system. This means that each party involved will need to appoint contested divorce attorneys to represent them and their respective interests with the intention of going to trial. Each attorney in turn is responsible for presenting compelling and substantive evidence to bolster their client’s case. It is then up to the judge to decide on the final outcome i.e. the division of marital asset including property, child custody and child maintenance.
Divorce is already an emotionally taxing and economically expensive exercise, and contested divorces are even more so. This is due to the fact that contested divorces have a propensity for dragging on. The process can take place over several months – even years before eventually going to trial. The longer the legal process, the higher the legal fees involved. These fees are also double because each party has their own attorney which of course results in two legal bills.
A considerable number of contested divorces are eventually settled before the trial commences, however this is not before both parties have incurred substantial legal costs as well as stress and strain from the on-going process. A contested divorce can be particularly distressing for families with children as the arduous process can be unsettling and may inhibit the now separated parents from establishing a new routine for the children independently, and can create an acrimonious home environment which benefits no one.
Initial consultations are charged at R1500.00. Thereafter, should you wish for us to act on your behalf, a fee is discussed and agreed upon whereafter we can move forward with your matter. We promise to get back to you as soon as possible – as we are aware that these cases are often urgent.