If your divorce is uncontested and the parties can reach a settlement on the terms, divorce lawyers will most likely charge you a fixed fee.
Therefore all divorce lawyers will ask you to pay a deposit when you mandate them to take your case. Therefore the amount of the deposit will depend on the lawyers experience and hourly rate.
We guarantee that no hidden cost will be charged. You need a divorce lawyer with good negotiation and planning skills to provide you with a cost effective solution.
Divorce Lawyers are subject to very strict ethical rules from the Legal Practice Council who control how they must handle clients trust monies.
Legal practitioners shall;
- maintain the highest standards of honesty and integrity;
- uphold the Constitution of the Republic and the principles and values enshrined
in the Constitution, and without limiting the generality of these principles and
values, shall not, in the course of his or her or its practice or business activities,
discriminate against any person on any grounds prohibited in the Constitution;
- treat the interests of their clients as paramount;
- honour any undertaking given by them in the course of their business or practice,
unless prohibited by law;
- refrain from doing anything in a manner prohibited by law or by the code of
conduct which places or could place them in a position in which a client’s
interests conflict with their own or those of other clients;
- maintain legal professional privilege and confidentiality regarding the affairs of
present or former clients or employers, according to law;
- respect the freedom of clients to be represented by a legal practitioner of their
- account faithfully, accurately and timeously for any of their clients’ money which
comes into their possession, keep such money separate from their own money,
and retain such money for only as long only as is strictly necessary;
- retain the independence necessary to enable them to give their clients or
employers unbiased advice;
- advise their clients at the earliest possible opportunity on the likely success of
such clients’ cases and not generate unnecessary work, nor involve their clients
in unnecessary expense;
- use their best efforts to carry out work in a competent and timely manner and not
take on work which they do not reasonably believe they will be able to carry out
in that manner;
- be entitled to a reasonable fee for their work, provided that no legal practitioner
shall fail or refuse to carry out, or continue, a mandate on the ground of nonpayment
of fees and disbursements (or the provision of advance cover therefor)
if demand for such payment or provision is made at an unreasonable time or in
an unreasonable manner, having regard to the particular circumstances;
- remain reasonably abreast of legal developments, applicable laws and
regulations, legal theory and the common law, and legal practice in the fields in
which they practise;
- behave towards their colleagues, whether in private practice or otherwise,
including any legal practitioner from a foreign jurisdiction, and towards members
of the public, with integrity, fairness and respect and without unfair discrimination,
and shall avoid any behaviour which is insulting or demeaning;
- refrain from doing anything which could or might bring the legal profession into
- unless exempted therefrom, pay promptly to the Council or any organ of the
Council, or to the Fund, all amounts which are legally due or payable in respect
of fees, charges, levies, subscriptions, penalties, fines or any other amounts of
whatsoever nature levied on legal practitioners, candidate legal practitioners or
juristic entities in terms of any powers arising under the Act or the rules;
When it comes to divorce lawyers you have the right
- to professional, honest and unbiased advice at all times;
- to be treated with professional courtesy, respect and fairness, regardless of your race, nationality, age, gender, sexual orientation or disability;
- to privacy and attorney-client confidentiality;
- to agree to the type of service you can expect and receive;
- to clear explanations in terms you understand;
- to set out from the start of the consultation what you are hoping to achieve, and aim to make sure that your expectations are realistic;
- to know who will be handling your matter;
- to be advised on the likely success of your case;
- to be assured that no unnecessary work will be done that could lead to unnecessary expenses;
- to an explanation of the cost implications and how the costs are likely to be calculated;
- to be kept informed of costs, so that you can work out if a particular course of action is worth following financially;
- to be kept updated on developments and progress as work on your case proceeds;
- to responses to your letters and telephone calls within a reasonable time;
- to a clear bill that shows the work done and the amounts charged;
- to complain about your attorney if you believe he/she is acting unethically or in an unprofessional manner;
- to have your attorney’s account assessed and taxed if you are of the view that it is too high; and
- to cancel your mandate to your attorney at any stage, subject to certain conditions, and consult another attorney.
Your divorce divorce Lawyer should provide you with a fee agreement before you pay the first deposit. The mandate will spell out the terms of your agreement. Therefore the following issues should be explained to you.
Hourly rate of Divorce Lawyers
The agreement should state the divorce lawyers hourly rate and the fees of anyone else who might also work on your case. You may for example be asked to pay for the time of a candidate attorney, associate or paralegal who works for the attorney, or an advocate briefed by the attorney. The hourly rate of the candidate attorney, associate or paralegal in the firm should be significantly lower than what your attorney is charging. Some attorneys may charge a higher hourly rate for time spent in court as opposed to time spent in consultation.
Expenses of Divorce Lawyers
In addition to the hourly charges levied by your Divorce Lawyer, you may also be charged for expenses such as copying, postage, emails, telephone calls or faxes.
Therefore make sure that those charges are captured in the agreement. You might want to ask for a clause that says the attorney will check with you before incurring expensive charges, like what the hourly rate will be of an advocate that the attorney will employ and when payment of the advocate’s account must be made.
The fees of an advocate briefed by the attorney may be significantly more than your attorney’s hourly rate. Advocates contract with attorneys and therefore the attorneys will be liable to pay the advocates’ fee within a prescribed time period. Usually attorneys will ask for a further retainer before they employ the services of an advocate or demand immediate payment once the advocate delivers his/her invoice.
Your attorney will have retention on your file for so long as his/her account has not been paid. Therefore, if you decide to change attorneys, be aware that the attorney will be within his/her rights to hold on to your file until you make full payment.
Finding the right Divorce Lawyers
There are many excellent and ethical divorce lawyers who would be more than happy to represent you, but there are also many who don’t care much about your personal needs and requirements. Therefore, no matter how easy your case, it will likely move faster and be easier if you have a competent divorce lawyer.
The issues generally involved in divorce proceedings are:
- Division of Assets and Liabilities
- Maintenance for the Parties
- Parental Rights and Responsibilities
- Primary Place of Residence of the Minor Children
- Maintenance and decision making
It is important that you use a divorce lawyer who has experience in handling divorce cases. For the same reason that you wouldn’t hire your family doctor to operate on your heart, you will not hire an attorney in general practice to attend to your divorce.
Time is money in the legal profession, and the more time you spend with your attorney, the more it will cost you. That is why it is so important to approach meetings or phone calls in an organised way. Think about your questions or issues in advance, and list them to discuss with your lawyer.
As a divorce lawyer we will provide you with a professional and quick service, we have more than 20 years’ experience and specialise in divorce matters.
We offer you an affordable option if you and your spouse can settle the terms of the divorce. Hence, if your divorce is uncontested and you and your spouse are residing in South Africa. We will conduct your divorce in the High Court do all the work for you and get decree of divorce in 6 -8 weeks.