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Question
Posted by: TAMMY | 2010/02/03

BREAKDOWN OF MARRIAGES

Dear Bertus
Seeing that so many marriages break down due to extramarital affairs. Is there nothing the courts can do to insist on couples counselling by weighing various options like, length of marriage, kids, financial circumstances. Should counselling not help then only should the divorce be granted. In most cases the wrongdoer is the one who wants out in order to continue their affair.
I think the courts should look at this. We live in a very stressful financial world.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFamily law expert

Dear Tammy,

I believe that a healthy family structure creates a healthy society and that couples opting for divorce, should carefully think about the consequences, not only with regard to them, but also with regard to the children and other family members at stake. This is also why; I ask all my clients whether they indeed followed all possible avenues to save their marriages, prior to embarking on a legal process and also assist them in referrals to appropriate counsellors.
Remember that it is not enough merely to state in Court that you and your spouse want a divorce. If you don't provide proof of irretrievable breakdown, and you don't convince the court that there is no prospect of reconciliation, the Court may postpone the divorce order. The court may also, for instance, order you to go for counselling or to wait for a year before you come back to court; this is to give you time to decide for sure whether saving the marriage is or isn't possible.
It is also important to note that marriage counselling start at home and not at the Court’s doorstep. Unfortunately in the majority of cases the damage had already been done when couples start the legal process. I believe that people in today’s age do not regard marriage sacred and special as they supposed to, i.e the reason for the high divorce rate. People tend to visit counsellors only when they have trouble in their relationship, or attend marriage seminars and workshops, my point of view however is that people should attend seminars and workshops not only as a measure to heal a wrong but also to strengthen a already healthy relationship.

Bertus Preller
www.divorceattorney.co.za

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Our users say:
Posted by: Tia | 2010/02/04

I also feel counselling should be a courts first suggestion rather than divorce based on length of marriage and whether there are kids involved.
Maybe there' s a petition that can be done for this kinda thing by the legal profession.

Reply to Tia
Posted by: Family law expert | 2010/02/04

Dear Tammy,

I believe that a healthy family structure creates a healthy society and that couples opting for divorce, should carefully think about the consequences, not only with regard to them, but also with regard to the children and other family members at stake. This is also why; I ask all my clients whether they indeed followed all possible avenues to save their marriages, prior to embarking on a legal process and also assist them in referrals to appropriate counsellors.
Remember that it is not enough merely to state in Court that you and your spouse want a divorce. If you don't provide proof of irretrievable breakdown, and you don't convince the court that there is no prospect of reconciliation, the Court may postpone the divorce order. The court may also, for instance, order you to go for counselling or to wait for a year before you come back to court; this is to give you time to decide for sure whether saving the marriage is or isn't possible.
It is also important to note that marriage counselling start at home and not at the Court’s doorstep. Unfortunately in the majority of cases the damage had already been done when couples start the legal process. I believe that people in today’s age do not regard marriage sacred and special as they supposed to, i.e the reason for the high divorce rate. People tend to visit counsellors only when they have trouble in their relationship, or attend marriage seminars and workshops, my point of view however is that people should attend seminars and workshops not only as a measure to heal a wrong but also to strengthen a already healthy relationship.

Bertus Preller
www.divorceattorney.co.za

Reply to Family law expert
Posted by: slow boat | 2010/02/03

Yes Bertus, I also would be very interested to hear your response to this one.

Reply to slow boat

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