DIY Divorce:
Cut costs and save time

The financial stress of obtaining legal separation heightens the emotional toll of getting a divorce for many South Africans. A typical divorce involving legal representation in court can cost anywhere between R4000 and R500 000, depending on whether or not there is agreement on how assets and/or custody of dependants should be divided. A ‘DIY divorce’, however, provides a low-cost alternative that also reduces the stress of divorce by simplifying the process.

What is a DIY divorce?

A DIY divorce is an alternative to costly legal counsel and representation in court. If you and your spouse are in agreement on who will get custody of dependants and how visitation rights will be decided, as well as how assets will be divided and maintenance will be allocated, you can use an online DIY divorce service.

Online divorce services offered by several law firms let you draw up an automated legal agreement. This agreement complies with South African divorce law: Once signed, it is a legally-binding divorce order that requires both parties to uphold their ends of the agreement or face legal action.

What are the benefits of getting a DIY divorce?

One of the pros of opting for a DIY divorce is that you do not need legal representation in court, though you may still consult with a legal professional, if you wish.

In South Africa, divorce attorneys can charge as much as R2000 per hour for advisory services. The immediate benefit of getting a DIY divorce is thus lower cost. In addition to saving money, you will also skip bureaucratic waiting periods. This is particularly helpful if you or your spouse have approaching plans (such as emigration) that are dependent on your divorce being finalized sooner.

Some online DIY divorce service will enable you to prepare a comprehensive, print-ready divorce agreement in under an hour.

Is a DIY divorce right for me?

If you need a speedier divorce process or you are looking for ways to reduce the cost of legal divorce advice and representation, DIY divorce is a sensible option. If you and your spouse are not agreed on the terms of your divorce, appoint a divorce mediator to help you come to agreement and then proceed with your online divorce process. This will cost you less than attorney consultations.

To sum up: If you can agree on as much as possible regarding your legal separation, you can reduce financial stress and get an affordable DIY divorce faster.