Divorce is one of the most difficult and emotional things a person can go through. Finding an attorney you can trust is exceptionally important at all times, particularly when going through the life-changing process of a divorce!
Having an attorney who understands your needs and budget is essential. Your attorney should also most importantly explain to you what are realistic expectations and what are not. Your attorney should also be transparent as to your rights as well as duties. Your attorney should explain to you the various options you have, general estimates on various courses of action and most importantly, explain when your requests are reasonable and when they are not. This is why trusting your attorney during this journey is absolutely essential.
Although it is almost impossible to estimate the costs of an Opposed divorce (it depends on the amount of opposition eg. is there disagreement over only a few small things or are there disagreements between the parties regarding everything from the custody of the children to who retains the washing machine) an attorney should be able to provide you with reasonable cost estimates as you proceed per step eg a Summons will cost x. Thereafter, depending on the Plea from the Defendant, a further estimate can be given as to a Replication or Plea to a Counter-Claim etc.
An attorney may usually quote on an Unopposed divorce if it is clear that the matter will be Unopposed (ie. the parties are in agreement with each and every thing) ,after the first consultation.
However, the first consultation is crucial for the attorney to ascertain your unique circumstances and the likelihood of settlement and whether said settlement complies with the law (eg parties cannot legally agree to “writing off” a child in exchange for not having to pay maintenance).
Your attorney should explain to you the basics on maintenance, whether it is applicable or not, whether you may be expected to pay maintenance or receive it, the general parameters of the type of maintenance in question and what it is dependant on such as income, current life style, amount of children, assets, debts etc.
Partnering with the correct attorney is the very first and arguably the most important legal step one can take during the perilous times of a divorce.
Contact us today to set up your consultation at https://www.hamelattorneys.co.za/contact/ or on 012 754 3385. Our consultations may be done in person (after lock-down) or at any time, with set appointment online via Skype.