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WCLawyer
WCLawyer, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 15597
Experience:  L.LB (UOVS)
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I discovered that my wife was have an 8 month affair with a

Customer Question

Hi All,
I discovered that my wife was have an 8 month long affair with a married executive at her workplace. At first she denied the affair and told our pastor that she was determined to work this out. Once exposes she changed her tune and now wants an divorce, she has approached a dirvoce mediator who has sent a proposed settlement, I informed them that I do not want a dirvoce as there are children involved and we should seek counseling. My wife is angry about the exposure and insists on having her way. What are my options and how should I respond to the mediator?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: South Africa Law
Expert:  WCLawyer replied 1 year ago.

Good Morning

Our legal system, unfortunately, makes it very easy to obtain a divorce and the consent of both parties to the divorce is not necessary for that. Even if just one party to the marriage can convince the court that the marriage has broken down irretrievably, then I am afraid the court will order a divorce. Put differently, if your wife insists that she no longer wants to be married to you, the court is not going to order her to remain married to you because you do not feel the same way as she does.

So, if you do defend a divorce on the basis that the marriage has not broken down irretrievably, the court may require that you go for counseling first, but that normally only happens when the person seeking the divorce agree that counseling may aid in changing their mind. If the person seeking the divorce is adamant that there is no reasonable chance of reconciling with her spouse, the court will probably order the divorce rather than counseling.

So, if you are going to respond to the mediator, then it is my advice that you response go to the settlement agreement, rather than insisting on counseling.

I know that this is probably not the answer that you have hoped for, however, I hope that you can still get some value out of it. I try my best to provide you with a legally sound and accurate answer and however much it pains me, it is not always good news. Trust me when I say that I wish I could provide you with a more optimistic answer. If you have follow up questions before you rate, feel free to ask them at no extra cost. If you are satisfied with the service, kindly rate it positively

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
HiThank you for your reply.What I really need to know is am I legally obligated to respond to the proposal from the divorce mediator and what the consequences are should I not respond.
Secondly what would be the next process on their side should I either not respond or should I email them and advise that I am not interested in entering their process.
Lastly what steps should I be taking to protect myself and can you recommend a good divorce attorney
Expert:  WCLawyer replied 1 year ago.

Is it court mandated mediation or did she decide to approach a mediator out of her own accord?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
HiShe approached a mediator out of her own accord, claiming this is a more peaceful approaching for all involved but the threats are getting worse with each day, like if you ignore the process then the divorce will be finalized without you input. Hence i need to know how i should be responding as well as find a lawyer to protect my interests.
Expert:  WCLawyer replied 1 year ago.

In that case you are under no obligation to partake in the mediation process and you are under no obligation to reply to the mediator. The divorce can never be finalized without your input. Your wife would need to issue summons at court and in the summons indicate what she wants (i.e how the estate is to be divided if applicable, whether she requires spousal maintenance if any, custody issues and child maintenance issues and amounts). You have the right to defend such proceedings and say by way of plea and counterclaim why she is not entitled to what she asks and to say how you feel these issues should be resolved.

So, if she says whatever is decided as mediation, even if it is unilaterally done by her at mediation will be how it is going to be done, then that is not the truth.