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Christo Smith Law Blog

Why divorce can ruin both parties financially

If you are planning a divorce or are in a presently in a dispute….

Those who have ears, let them hear.

Divorce actions are costly. The disputes mainly relate to children, assets and maintenance.

Attorneys are the professionals that deal with these matters. But are they always?

Here is the crux:

Beware of costly litigation that will deplete the assets and achieve one thing only : enhancement of the attorney’s pocket. Some cases cannot easily be settled, this is true. For example, an elderly lady, married for 40 years who will be left otherwise financially destitute, must fight for maintenance.

However, most divorce matters are capable of settlement if the parties are reasonable.

If you are a wife married out of community of property, don’t be led into believing that you can prove that the contract (the ante-nuptial contract) is invalid for some reason. It may or it may not be. In most cases it is’nt. Fact is, even if you succeed, such a dispute will invariably go all the way to the Supreme Court of Appeal and even the Constitutional Court. If you loose, you’ve gained nothing. If you win, you get half of the estate of which most will go to your legal team. Don’t be fooled into believing that you will win “with costs” – the winner only recovers a small fraction of the costs from the losing party. Costs of between R2 million and R5 million and even more is not unrealistic. Then, even if you win, what have you gained? Absebloomenlootly nothing.

To prospective divorce litigants and especially ladies : if your attorney fits the above bill, even remotely, get a second and even a third opinion. You won’t regret it.

Don’t be one of the proverbial two dogs fighting for a bone watching the third one take the spoils.

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Why divorce can ruin both parties financially