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  • Writer's pictureJean-Jacques Naudé

How much does it cost to get a divorce?

Updated: Apr 21, 2022

Our office is often contacted by prospective clients to inquire about the costs involved with divorce proceedings.


At J Naudé Attorneys Incorporated, we start every divorce by opening the door to settlement negotiations in order to assist clients to have their divorce finalised as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.


It is very difficult to give an indication of costs to be incurred when instituting divorce proceedings during a first consultation, as a divorce involves a number of variables that cannot be anticipated from the get-go.


Divorce proceedings usually go down in one of the following ways:


- (scenario 1) both spouses approach our office to instruct us to institute divorce proceedings and they have already come to a mutual agreement regarding the terms on which their marriage will be brought to an end; or


- (scenario 2) we are approached by one of the spouses and are able to negotiate a settlement agreement in order to regulate the terms on which the marriage will be brought to an end; or


- (scenario 3) we are approached by one of the spouses; the parties are not able to come to an agreement regarding the terms on which their marriage will be brought to an end; we serve summons to institute a divorce action against the other spouse; the other spouse proceeds to defend the action and it is finally in the hands of the court to decide the terms on which the marriage relationship is to be terminated.


In the first scenario, we usually spend between 5 and 7 hours to have the matter finalised. This includes time spent on, but not limited to attending to at least one consultation with our client, the drafting of the divorce summons and settlement agreement, attending to telephonic and e-mail correspondence with our client and other role-players and attending to the court appearance on the date that the divorce matter is being heard on an unopposed basis.


In the second scenario, we usually spend between 8 and 12 hours to have the matter finalised and the extra time is ordinarily spent attending to settlement negotiations on behalf of our client.


In the final scenario, considering that the matter goes to trial, we can easily spend between 20 and 30 hours to have the matter finalised. We will further not be in any position to provide our client with an indication as to whether the outcome of the matter will be favourable to our client or not, given that the decision is entirely in the hands of the court.


We understand that a divorce already involves an emotional and painful process and we look forward to the opportunity to assist you in finalising your divorce as conveniently as possible.


You are welcome to contact our office to inquire about the hourly rate applicable when we attend to divorce proceedings.


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