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Settlement Agreements in Uncontested Divorces


uncontested divorce


If the parties are in agreement with respect to a divorce, the first step in obtaining a decree if divorce would be to conclude a settlement agreement.


There are various items to consider in a settlement agreement when you are discussing with your spouse. We will break these down into several headings.


CONTACT: MINOR CHILDREN


The first port of call is to be decided on is living arrangements for minor children (if any). You could do a 50/50 shared residence arrangement, alternatively a weekend and weekday day split, depending on the routines of the minor children. It is also important to consider how holidays will work.


It is important note that the minor children's views should be taken into account as prescribed by the Children's Act. This will also depend great on the age and maturity of the children involved.


MAINTENANCE: MINOR CHILDREN


Maintenance needs for the minor children includes things such as schools fees, stationary, after care, extra murals, uniforms, textbooks, tours and outings, medical aid costs, gap cover, medical costs not covered by the medical aid, food, personal care items, accommodation and transportation costs.


The fixed expenses, such as medical aid and school, need the divided between the parties by agreement. The parties could also use their respective income ratios to determine the ratios each parent will pay.


If the minor children are primary resident and one parents house, accommodation and grocery costs should be considered, we well as things such as WIFI and au pairs.


It is important to note that maintenance for children can be reviewed from time to time, especially where there is a change of circumstances. The maintenance court can be used to amended an existing maintenance order in terms of a decree of divorce.


SPOUSAL MAINTENANCE


The parties should determine whether either spouse is in need of spousal maintenance. This is when one spouse is in need of financial assistance for a period of time post the divorce. It is important to note that spousal maintenance can only be claimed at the time of divorce, it cannot be claimed thereafter. It is therefore important to consider this aspect carefully before waiving any claim for spousal maintenance.


PENSIONS


A divorce is one of the times and spouse can access the other spouses pension. Accordingly, should one spouse wish to award the other spouse a portion of his/her pension, this needs to be covered in the settlement agreement. It is important to note that the wording relating to the award of a pension fund is very specific and you will need the assist of an attorney to ensure this wording is correct, otherwise you may be required to return to court to rectify any issues with the wording as a result of the pension funds refusal to payout.


MOVABLE PROPERTY


The parties need to decide how they intend to deal with any movable property, such as furniture, motor vehicles and the like.


IMMOVABLE PROPERTY


The parties need to decide how they intend to deal with any immovable property, being houses. It is important to note that if a spouse is awarded a property in a divorce, they will not be required to pay any transfer duty (taxes) associated with the transfer, therefore this needs to be considered carefully.


DEBTS


The parties need to discuss how they will deal with any debts incurred during the course of the marriage.



We can assist you with preparing a settlement agreement for R2400.00, which includes all necessary consultations.



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