How to find a divorce lawyer in Cape Town, South Africa

Divorce rate declines in face of economic slowdown

The poor state of the South African economy affects all aspects of life, including divorces.

Although over the last ten years there has been a marked increase in the divorce rate, the divorce rate figures released recently have shown a steep decline. Couples can no longer afford to get divorced from a financial viewpoint. One of the inevitable consequences of any divorce is that after the divorce each party will suffer more financially as he or she would have to support himself/herself very often without the assistance of the other party.

It has also become quite common lately for couples to carry on staying together after the divorce, even though in separate quarters of the house. They simply cannot afford to move out of the house and pay for additional accommodation elsewhere. This situation can however lead to various problems, especially when the parties have moved on in their lives.

Our firm recently had a case where the parties got divorced and agreed to subdivide the property. The man and his new girlfriend and their newborn child began to occupy one section of the property and the woman and children the other section. This led to great tension and a further application was brought by the wife to rescind the divorce order and have the property sold.

It has become common lately for clients to enter into fee agreements with attorneys according to which the attorneys will only be paid at the end of the divorce. This is a direct result of clients not being able to pay deposits upfront due to the high interest rates and the poor state of the economy.

There may be a marked increase in the divorce rate in the near future when economic conditions improve.

written by Peter M Baker, a Cape Town divorce law expert


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