Shocking Divorce Statistics in South Africa

Marriage appears to be under threat as an institution in South Africa and the divorce rate is increasing.

Statistics released by Stats S.A. reveal that 44.4% of divorces in 2016 were couples whose marriages had lasted less than 10 years. More women than men initiate a divorce and overall in 2016, there were 25 326 divorces. 

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Reasons for divorce

The most common reasons for divorce are financial issues, infidelity, domestic violence and substance abuse. Another common reason is simply the lack of motivation to work at the relationship.

One of the reasons for more women initiating divorce today is that they are becoming more financially independent. If they’re in an unhappy marriage, they no longer have to stay in it because they can’t afford to leave.

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Massive costs of divorce

A divorce can cost up to R100 00 in South Africa, if not more. If it is uncontested, the attorney will usually charge a fixed hourly fee. You will have to pay a retainer or a deposit to engage an attorney, and this will depend on his or her experience and hourly rate. The retainer is paid into the attorney’s trust account and withdrawn as fees are earned.

In a contested divorce, the cost is . Litigation is usually involved and you are likely to pay an attorney for a significant number of hours. As your case progresses, the attorney is likely to ask for more upfront fees.

In addition to your attorney’s hourly rate, you also have to pay for expenses such as photocopies, emails, telephone calls and postage. It can eventually end up costing you a fortune in disbursements and fees. You may have to pay for the time of a candidate attorney who works for the legal firm, or an advocate briefed by the attorney.

The fees of advocates are significantly more than the hourly rate of attorneys. If attorneys need to employ expert witnesses, such as forensic accountants, private investigators or child-care experts, your expenses will increase. 

Do your own divorce

Many people are nervous about doing their own divorce because they think it’s too complicated. An uncontested divorce is actually a straightforward process and you don’t need to hire an expensive attorney. You can do it yourself quickly and easily if you and your partner agree on the terms of the divorce.

Sign up today with Right Cover and you will pay only R49 per month for access to legal assistance. You will also receive access to a wide range of legal documents, including a Divorce Kit. The kit contains comprehensive step-by-step instructions and all the legal documents and forms you need to obtain your divorce.

It’s not difficult to complete the forms and go through the process of filing them to receive a case number. Go to the sheriff to serve your partner with the papers and attend a hearing in court at a later date to finalize your divorce. It’s really not difficult and many people in South Africa have already obtained their divorces this way, saving themselves thousands of rand. 

NEED HELP WITH A DIVORCE OR JUST WANT TO GET LEGAL ADVICE?

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