Going through divorce proceedings is more often than not a stressful experience for both spouses. There are a number of factors that need to be considered, such as the division of assets between the two parties once the divorce has been finalised. In cases where minor children are involved, issues such as primary care and maintenance payments also need to be addressed and resolved before the marriage can be dissolved. When both parties are not able to come to an agreement on these issues it is seen as a contested divorce. If negotiations between the parties fail to settle, the case will go to trial, and the courts will make a ruling to resolve any dispute. 

A contested divorce is typically a long process that can take months or even years to conclude, and the longer it takes the more costly it becomes. Naturally, each case is different and the time it takes to reach an agreement is largely dependent on the conduct of the two parties involved. A contested divorce can be an emotionally draining experience and when emotions run high it is often the case that one, or both parties act in a vindictive manner towards the other during these proceedings. When children are involved, it can cause even more conflict between the parties and parents have been known to reduce the amount of contact the opposing party has with their children in an attempt to spite them. 

Individuals that are somewhat dependent on their spouse for financial support during the marriage will most likely require this same support during divorce proceedings to prevent them from becoming destitute. It could also be the case that the financial burden caused by a contested divorce is overwhelming one of the parties. Rule 43 of the High Court and Rule 58 of the Regional Court seeks to address this issue by allowing parties to approach the court for an order that grants them interim relief, pending the conclusion of the divorce. This could include financial relief such as maintenance payments as well as contributions towards legal costs. The court can also be approached to make provision for interim care and contact in cases where minor children are involved.

Settlement negotiations are an integral part of the divorce process, offering spouses numerous opportunities to settle the matter out of court. If parties are able to settle their disputes before going to court it can greatly reduce the time it takes to finalise the divorce, therefore reducing the overall cost and minimising the emotional strain on the parties as well. This is why it is imperative to seek professional legal assistance that will negotiate on your behalf and help you to understand the process better. 

Competent legal representation can make a world of difference! At Cawood Attorneys, we are committed to delivering successful outcomes for our valued clients. Our dedicated team of attorneys will be with you every step of the way to ensure that your divorce concludes as quickly as possible. Contact us today for a free telephonic consultation or visit our website for more information on the services we offer.

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