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Ask Freddie Lombard Your Own Question
Freddie Lombard
Freddie Lombard, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 2455
Experience:  Practicing attorney and conveyancer with 16 years post article experience.
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Freddie, I will be asking a question regarding family law

Customer Question

Hi Freddie, I will be asking a question regarding family law and divorce matters shortly. I cannot decide on what is the right question to ask and will do some more research on questions answered. Do you practice family law currently?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: South Africa Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I need to understand the process of divorce proceedings from the Defend's plea to continue representing myself in court. Owing to financial reasons I have had to continue my divorce process on my own.Background: Husband left home 2 years ago. We tried mediation and he reneged on the initial proposal which was agreed on verbally. A year later he stopped paying according to what he originally agreed. I have run out of funds to proceed with legal counsel. There are 3 female children under the age of 7 involved. After not working I was able to find a job however I am not covering all the children's costs for day to day expenses. My husband is currently only paying school fees and a hospital plan. He is erratic in exercising his rights to access and I would like to limit the girls from sleeping away from home until they are much older.1. I have missed the boat with the Discovery stage?
2. How can I delay the court roll without prejudicing myself?
3. What submissions do I need to make in court if I have not submitted my documentation with the 20 day period prior to the court date?
4. Can I force mediation on the Plaintiff?
5. If I am not able to negotiate maintenance and access rights according to the needs of the children post the divorce proceedings am I still able to take this matter to The Family Advocate or Maintenance Court to fight the court order passed in the Divorce proceedings?
Expert:  Freddie Lombard replied 1 year ago.

Good morning,

Thank you for your question. I will try to assist you in answering it today but please feel free to ask as many follow up questions as you like until you are 100% satisfied.

Yes, I do practice family law currently.

OK, from what you are saying, it sounds like you have already come quite far in the litigation process. What you should have doe is to apply in terms of Rule 43 in the High Court or Rule 58 in the Magistrates Court for interim maintenance and an order that your husband make a contribution to your legal costs, to allow you to be able to litigate on equal footing with him, instead of having to represent yourself, at your own risk and to your own detriment.

You can still do this, and ask for a postponement of the hearing to enable you do bring such an application on the grounds mentioned above - it is in your interest and in the interest of justice that your husband makes a contribution to your legal costs so that you can appoint an attorney to assist you and ensure that you get proper advice and assistance.

If you missed the time for discovery, it is not a train smash - just do it as soon as possible. The Court might penalise you with costs if you cause an undue delay, but that is better than the alternative of getting a raw deal at trial simply because you missed one of the procedural steps while you are unrepresented and a layperson when it comes to legal matters.

You will be able to claim maintenance in the maintenance court yes, but it is better to get it sorted out now, rather than to wait until later.

I hope this answered your question.

I know it will take an extra minute of your time to rate my service, but if you do not rate it, I do not get paid by the website so I would really appreciate it if you would be so kind as to rate my service positively. Feel free to ask further question here on this topic at no extra cost if you need more information.

Regards

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Freddie,I went to the High Court today to get copies of the court file to establish:1. Discovery Documents submitted to the court
2. Found out the Notice of Set Down for the court date/establish whether this case is on the court rollUnfortunately I could not obtain the court file documents and the clerk said that the case no is there, however he has mo records of the documents/file. What can I do? How do I find out if the case is going to be heard and if a court date has been set?Looking forward to hearing from you.
Expert:  Freddie Lombard replied 1 year ago.
Is this a High Court matter, or in the Civil Regional Magistrates Court?
It is really not possible to tell you whether the case has been enrolled. If you did not receive a notice of set down, then it has not been set down, and the Court will not hear the matter.
If the Registrar cannot tell you that the matter has been set down, then it is rather safe to assume that it has not yet been set down, however, nothing is 100% sure. I have heard of stranger things happen.
You must understand that discovered documents are not submitted to Court, they are only listed so that they may be used during the trial.
Please remember to rate the service positively.