Divorce Attorney Cape Town

Divorce Statistics – South Africa


Trends

The 2011 data was published in December 2012 by Statistics South Africa. 20 980 divorces from civil marriages were processed. This indicates a decrease of 1 956 (8,5%) divorces from the 22 936 cases processed in 2010, which may largely be explained by some 2011 divorce forms that did not reach Statistics South Africa before the publication. The total number of divorces generally fluctuated over the period 2002–2011, with the highest number observed in 2005 (32 484) and the lowest in 2011 (20 980).

Population groups

Couples from the white population group dominated the number of divorces between 2002 and 2007, after which the black African couples had the highest number of divorces up to 2011. In 2002, 45,2% of the divorcees were from the white population group whereas 22,5% came from the black African group. By 2011, 35,8% of the divorcees were from the black African population group and 32,1% from the white population group. The proportions of the divorcees from the coloured and the Indian/Asian population groups were quite invariable during the ten-year period. However, there was a notable increase in the proportions of divorcees from the coloured population group (from 13,9% in 2010 to 16,6% in 2011).  The data show that there were more females 10 408 (49,6%) than males 7 212 (34,4%) who instituted divorce (plaintiffs). With the exception of females from the black African population who had a lower proportion of plaintiffs (39,7%), the proportion of female plaintiffs from other population groups was above 50,0%. That is, 56,8%, 56,2% and 52,4% of plaintiffs from the white, coloured and Indian/Asian population groups, respectively, were females.

Occupations that divorce

A high proportion of the plaintiffs (13,5% of the males and 19,4% of the females) did not indicate the type of occupation they were engaged in at the time of divorce. In addition, 27,3% and 30,6% of the males and females respectively were not economically active at the time of divorce. For specified occupations, most of those who divorced in 2011 were in clerical and sales occupations (11,5%) and managers and administrators (10,2%), with some differences observed by sex of the plaintiff. Husbands who divorced were largely managers and administrators (14,7%) while females who divorces were mainly in clerical and sales occupations (18,2%). Less than a quarter of males (23,6%) and females (20,2%) were in the professional and managerial occupations. Very few plaintiffs were in farming and related occupations.

Number of times married

The 2011 divorce cases for both males and females were mainly from individuals who had married once. About 80,0% of divorces for males and females were from first-time marriages compared to approximately 10,0% from second-time marriages. About 2,0% of males and females were getting divorced for at least the third time.

Age at the time of divorce

The median ages at divorce in 2011 were 42 years for males and 38 years for females, indicating that males generally divorced at older ages than females, with a difference of about four years. The median age for males was up from 41 years in 2010 while it remained the same for females for 2010 and 2011. The pattern of median ages in 2011 by population group shows that black African males had the highest median age (43 years) at the time of divorce while females from the mixed group had the lowest median age (34 years). The age difference at the time of divorce was highest for black African couples (five years) and was between two and three years for other couples. Although there are differences in the ages at which most males and females from the various population groups divorced, the age patterns are quite similar. The data reveal that there were fewer divorces among the younger (less than 25 years old) and the older (55 years and older) divorcees. For male divorcees, the peak age group at divorce was 35–39 for Indian/Asian and coloured population groups while the peak for the black African and white population groups was 40–44. In the case of females, the peak age group was generally at age group 35–39 for all population groups.

Duration of marriage of divorcing couples

The largest number [5 535 (26,4%)] of the divorces were for marriages that lasted between five and nine years. This group is followed by marriages that lasted less than five years [4 489 (21,4%)]. Thus, almost half (47,8%) of the 20 980 divorces in 2011 were marriages that lasted for less than 10 years. Divorces for the black African, coloured and Indian/Asian population groups occurred mostly to couples who had married for five to nine years whereas for the white population group those that divorced did so mostly during their first five years of marriage. Furthermore, the number of divorces for the white population consistently declined as the duration of marriage increased and this pattern is observed for marriages lasting for five to nine years for the other population groups.

Divorces involving couples with children

In 2011, 11 475 (54,7%) of the 20 980 divorces had children younger than 18 years. The proportions of divorces with children were quite high among the coloured population group (64,4%), Indians/Asians (57,8%) and the black Africans (57,1%). The distribution of the number of children affected by divorce shows that 37,4% were from the black African population group; 27,1% from the white population group and 20,2% from the coloured population group. There were 18 571 children (younger than 18 years old) involved in divorce indicating that, on average, there was between one and two children per divorce.

Source: http://voices.news24.com/bertus-preller/2013/02/latest-south-african-divorce-statistics  

Compiled by:

Bertus Preller

Family Law Attorney

Abrahams and Gross Inc.

A:1st Floor, 56 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town, 8000

O: +27 (0) 21 422 1323

Twitter: @bertuspreller

Advertisements

More children are being raised by single parents than married parents


Many of South African children are growing up in dysfunctional families. Millions of children grow up living without one of their parents. The consequences for young people our country’s future entrepreneurs, workers and leaders may be dire.

More than 20 000 children are affected by divorce each year in South Africa. According to Stats SA, the distribution of the number of children affected by divorce in 2010 shows that 37,9% (7 719) were from the black African population group; 27,6% (5 633) from the white population group, 17,3% (3 529) from the coloured population group and 5,5% (1 113) from the Indian/Asian population group.

According to a 2011 study by the South African Institute of Race Relations only a third of children in South Africa are growing up living with two of their parents, 98 000 children live in child-headed households, 81 percent of whom have a living mother and 9 million children are growing up with absent but living fathers. As in any country, single parenthood arises because of divorce, death or estrangement of a spouse and teenage pregnancy.

According to the study, increasing numbers of fathers are absent, and a ‘crisis of men’ in South Africa seems to be perpetuating patterns of abuse and desertion that will most likely continue with future generations. A racial dimension is also evident in many of the trends associated with family life. African families are more likely to have single parents and absent fathers than other race groups, particularly Indian families.

In South Africa, questions need to be asked about why these trends increase. Issues such as attitudes to parental responsibility and attitudes to monogamy and commitment to relationships need to be publicly discussed, and addressed by broader society. Why do parents, particularly fathers, fail to acknowledge their parental responsibilities? If this is seemingly acceptable to broader society, why is this so? What values are being passed on to our children?

It is not only in South Africa that there seems to be an increase in single-parent families. Also in the UK more couples shun weddings and children are increasingly likely to live with unmarried parents as married ones. In the UK some 8,000 same-sex couples now have children according to the Office for National Statistics, while almost 8million people are living alone.

There is a continuing decline in the popularity of marriage as more relationships break down and fewer couples choose to wed. In the UK over the past decade the number of married couples fell by 262,000 to 12 million, while the number of cohabiting couples rose from 2.1million to 2.9million and there are 1.8 million children living with unmarried partners.

Only 35% of children in South Africa grow up living with both their biological parents. Dysfunctional families are damaging the prospects of younger generations and there is evidence that children from broken families are more likely to have relationship problems and create fractured families themselves in future.

From a marriage point of view people have to rid themselves of the dream that they are going to find a spouse one day who is perfect in every way – physically, emotionally and intellectually, it is simply impossible.

In today’s digital age we live by “remote control”, if we don’t like the channel that we are watching we simply switch channels and watch something more entertaining. Only to find that the new partner is as flawed as the last. Almost like a hydra, cut off one head and get rid of a boring partner but inherit 20 new problems, your new partner’s children, insecurities, family and so on. It may be so that not all second marriages are doomed but the statistics colour a different picture. Family breakdown affects everyone and a break-up shocks the whole foundation of the family and mostly it never recovers.

Source: http://voices.news24.com/bertus-preller/2012/03/single-parent-families-on-the-rise-in-south-africa/

Bertus Preller

Family Law Attorney

Abrahams and Gross Inc.

Tel: 021 422 1323

Email: info(@)divorceattorney.co.za

Follow on Twitter: @bertuspreller

Blog:  http://www.divorceattorneys.wordpress.com

Divorce Questions: Interview with Bertus Preller Family and Divorce Law Attorney Cape Town


Divorce Questions: Interview with Bertus Preller Family Law Attorney

Most couples going through the end of their marriage ask the same divorce questions. Regardless of how long people were married, they still need to find a Family Law Attorney and sort through issues regarding property, finances, children, and emotional trauma. Having accurate information is a crucial part of the divorce and healing process.

Family and Divorce Law Attorney Bertus Preller is a Family Law Specialist. A graduate of the Free State and University of Johannesburg, he represents celebrities and other high-net worth individuals in their divorce proceedings in South Africa.

How does one choose a good divorce lawyer?

Everyone differs in what type of attorneys suits them. For instance, do they want an attorney who will parent them or an attorney who will partner with them? Naturally, there are other variables to consider as well, like reputation, credentials, experience, and background. Getting references from contacts a person knows and trusts, especially from one’s accountant, business attorney, estate planning attorney or therapist, is the best way to find a good divorce attorney.

Does the end of a marriage have to turn into a battle?

“No, it does not,” Bertus Preller said. However, there often is some battle over one issue or another-like the division of property or who gets custody of the children. It is normally the battles over control in one area or another that precipitated the divorce in the first place. If a couple could not get along during the marriage, often the divorce is simply an amplification of those problems. “I tend to try to follow a more collaborative approach in dealing with divorce matters, and consider a number of ways to settle issues, whether through mediation or negotiating the best possible outcome for the client. We tend to see a number of ill experienced mediators offering services such as divorce mediation, offering a quick break with less emotional trauma and less costs. This may be a good option, but the reality is that mediation can be more expensive than an uncontested divorce; the other problem is that some mediators have absolutely no understanding of the legal consequences of the patrimonial issues of the divorce. You simply can’t mediate a divorce with a degree in psychology when there are legal issues involved and it frequently happens that one party is in fact at the end of the day in a much worse position”.

How can parents minimise the affect of divorce on their children?

“They can and should leave the children out of their immediate battles at all times,” Bertus Preller said. “Whether during the divorce process itself or long after it has ended. Spouses have no right bringing children into the differences that they have with each other. They should also give the children support and understanding throughout the divorce trauma and always show the utmost respect to the other spouse no matter how hard that may seem.”

How do courts determine the distribution of assets if one spouse is a stay at home parent or earns substantially less than the other?

In a marriage in community of property, it is important to establish the net value of the communal estate at the date of divorce. Then one can establish what each party is entitled to. Often, spouses can’t agree on a division on the joint estate and a Receiver or Liquidator needs to be appointed to divide the assets. When a marriage in community of property dissolves through divorce, each spouse is entitled to 50% of the joint estate, which includes the parties’ pension benefits.

In a marriage out of community with accrual, an auditor often needs to be appointed to determine the accrual. Preller said however he’s been involved in a number of divorce matters where extremely wealthy people were married in community of property. They may not have received the proper legal advice, “or became so focussed on the wedding ceremony that they forget about the consequences of a failed marriage.

We’re getting divorced because my spouse cheated on me. How do I make him/her “pay” for this mistake?

“Seeking vengeance is never the answer,” Bertus Preller said. “There is an old Spanish proverb: ‘Living well is the best revenge,’ is what the injured party should focus on and strive for. There is no win in trying to make someone pay for any betrayal in a marriage. However, in terms of South African law an aggrieved spouse is able to claim compensation against a third party who was the cause of the divorce.

I’m trying to be reasonable, but my spouse and I just can’t agree on major issues like who gets custody of the kids or who should keep the house. What should I do?

“Seek the advice of your attorney,” Bertus Preller said. “A mediation session might help with a respected attorney. This is what you pay your attorney to do: resolve major issues and help you come to reasonable solutions. If all else fails you may have to take your case to court and have the judge decide, but this is not always the best possible way, settlement soon in the proceedings is always the best outcome for everyone”

Bertus Preller is a Divorce and Family Law Attorney in Cape Town and has more than 20 years experience in law and 13 years as a practising attorney. He specializes in Family law and Divorce Law at Bertus Preller & Associates Inc. in Cape Town. Bertus is also the Family Law expert on Health24.com and on the expert panel of Law24.com. His areas of expertise are Divorce Law, Family Law, Divorce Mediation, Custody (care and contact) of children, same sex marriages, unmarried father’s rights, domestic violence matters and international divorce law.

January is Divorce Season in South Africa


Divorce Season

Divorce Attorneys are being flooded with inquiries from unhappy couples following a festive season loaded with over-spending their budgets and obviously too much time spent together.

The number of divorces instituted during December and January is triple than that of the other months, according to top Cape Town Divorce Attorney Bertus Preller at Abrahams and Gross Inc. who handles matters in Cape Town and Johannesburg. “The number of enquiries from spouses about filing for divorce increases to about six times the normal amount during this season”, he said.

It is a well known fact that Divorces in January dramatically escalate, because of spouses being forced to spend time more time together on holiday during which time they come to the conclusion that they are completely incompatible. People often overspend on money during the festive season and, “when there’s a financial breakdown, often the whole marriage breaks down comes to a halt.

Social Networks like Facebook, Myspace and Mxit also light the fire for possible affairs outside the marriage; it’s so much easier these days to make contact with the opposite sex. “I see a lot of cases where men and women provide evidence of the other parties’ extra-marital affair on Facebook and Mxit”, says Preller.

An unopposed divorce settlement could take up to three months to resolve and would cost anywhere between R6000 and R12000. In bigger divorces cases, where there are large estates and the parties quarrel for every last cent, it can cost as much as R1-million.

“Altough January and February are the season for divorce in South Africa, I do believe that a lot of divorces are unnnecessary and that many couples can in fact reconcile, the first issue I always clarify with my client’s are whether a possibility exist to make things work”, says Preller.

Divorce and Family Law Attorney Bertus Preller already has more than 1500 Twitter followers follow at @edivorce.
Source: Newsbreak
%d bloggers like this: