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Archive for the ‘Law’ Category

Bertus Preller Discusses the Adversarial Nature of South Africa’s Divorce Law

Everyone's Guide to Divorce and SeparationBertus Preller has commented on a recent article by the Economist that found that “lawyers generate more hostility than the members of any other profession — with the possible exception of journalism.”

Preller quotes from the foreword to his book, Everyone’s Guide to Divorce and Separation, in which Judge Denis Davis comments on the adversarial system in South African divorce law, saying that it’s not conducive to the settlement of issues. Preller goes on to explain how the system works and discusses collaborative divorce, which he describes as a progressive approach to conflict resolution in family law. He concludes, saying that there needs to be “a mind shift among divorce and family law attorneys, a new breed, we need lawyers who lean more towards a therapeutic kind of jurisprudence.”

It is commonly known in psychological circles that the stress of divorce often reach 9 out of 10 on the Subjective Units of Disturbance scale, the scale for measuring the subjective intensity of disturbance or distress experienced by an individual. Divorce is painful and whenever there are children involved, the family still exists after the relationship ends. The manner in which spouses end a relationship and the way they and their lawyers conduct themselves during this process determines whether the family will be functional or dysfunctional from that day forward.

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Video: Bertus Preller Discusses Everyone’s Guide to Divorce and Separation

Everyone's Guide to Divorce and SeparationLeanne Manas interviewed Bertus Preller on Morning Live about his book, Everyone’s Guide to Divorce and Separation.

Preller said that the book explains the intricacies of the law in laymans terms and also deals with issues such as abuse and maintenance, as well as divorce and separation. He said that, as a family lawyer, he sees a lot of people focusing only on the wedding and not on the legalities regarding marriage, and that this book explains all of the issues that people may come across, including antenuptial contracts.

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Bertus Preller Shares Advice on How to Choose a Divorce Attorney

Everyone's Guide to Divorce and SeparationBertus Preller has written about how to choose a divorce attorney, advising people against cutthroat lawyers who are quick to litigate. He says to rather “search for an attorney who will represent your interests, whether that means fighting it out in court or making sure you get a fair settlement”.

Preller also shares advice on ways to limit the amount of legal fees you pay and lists The Law Society rules that attorneys are held to, as well as the responsibilities you have to your attorney:

Finding the right attorney can be a challenging exercise. There are many good and ethical divorce attorneys who would be happy to represent you, but there are also many who don’t keep up to date with the law, don’t care much about your personal needs and/or charge too much. No matter how straightforward your case, it will likely move faster and be easier if you have a competent attorney to oversee it from beginning to end.

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Bertus Preller: Children’s Needs Should Be Put First During Divorces or Separations

Everyone's Guide to Divorce and Separation“The goal for divorced or separated parents should always be to maintain the best co-parenting relationships possible by moving past previous relationship issues and focusing on children’s well-beings,” says Betrus Preller, author of Everyone’s Guide to Divorce and Separation.

On his blog Preller writes that “a great percentage of parents that divorce or separate see conflict as an inevitable part of the process and are determined to fight battles in court” despite this not necessarily being in the best interest of their children.

The welfare of children in a divorce or separation is the most important aspect of any divorce. Although most couples believe children’s welfare is one of the most important factors to consider in a divorce, a great percentage of parents that divorce or separate see conflict as an inevitable part of the process and are determined to fight battles in court.

From time to time one comes across an intransigent parent who is incapable of objectivity when considering what is best for the child. It may well be that you do not like your partner, but the child’s view of the parent is different. He or she will have love and trust for that person, capable of transcending even the most dreadful scenes that may have been witnessed.

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Maya Fisher-French Looks at the Consumer Protection Act to Determine When You Can Demand a Refund

Everyone\'s Guide to the Consumer Protection ActIn an article on her website Maya on Money, Maya Fisher-French explains to a questioning reader when and how you can request a refund.

She writes that although the new Consumer Protection Act provides ample protection for consumers it does not “remove the obligations of consumers when undertaking an agreement”. Fisher-French goes on to explain that the customer has the right to demand “quality service”.

For more information on the new Consumer Protection Act, get your hands on Everyone’s Guide to the Consumer Protection Act by Clive Gibson and Geoff Hull.

“A small business hired a hall for an event scheduled for 7pm on a Saturday night. The event was a choral concert and so sound engineers, lighting engineers and stage props were all lined up. At 6pm the owners of the hall cancelled because there was no electricity. The electricity remained off until about 10pm. Substantial costs have been incurred by the concert organisers. Given the circumstances, can the hall rental be claimed back from the owners by the organisers?” writes Lauren.

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Bertus Preller Looks at the 2011 Divorce Stastics in South Africa

Everyone's Guide to Divorce and SeparationBertus Preller, author of Everyone’s Guide to Divorce and Separation, has shared his insights into the divorce statistics in South Africa, from the data on 2011 released by Statistics South Africa at the end of last year.

Preller notes that there was a 8.5% decrease in divorces from the previous year, with 20 980 divorces from civil marriages in 2011. The duration of the marriages before divorce was most commonly between five and nine years, with the second most common length being less than five years.

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).

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Bertus Preller Explains the Legalities of Adultery in South Africa

Everyone's Guide to Divorce and SeparationBertus Preller, author of Everyone’s Guide to Divorce and Separation, has written an article looking at the legalities of adultery in South Africa. He points out that although adultery is not classified as a crime in South Africa, as it is in many other places in the world, there have been high profile cases in which claims for damages against a third party have been ruled.

Preller considers the arguments for and against this kind of legal action, which renders the cheating spouse blameless, and concludes that, “It is debatable whether, in today’s day and age, there is still place for an action to sue a third party for adultery in South African law.”

Infidelity, adultery and cheating in marriage is a serious problem affecting society as a whole. The rapid evolution in social living and the rise of technology have propelled this problem to an all new level. The reality is that infidelity brings heartbreak to the affected parties. Adultery laws dates back to the days of the Old Testament and the term stemmed from the notion of “adulterating” or polluting the bloodline of a family when a married woman had sex with someone other than her husband and ran the risk of having another man’s child.

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Excerpt from Everyone’s Guide to the Consumer Protection Act by Clive Gibson and Geoff Hull

Everyone\'s Guide to the Consumer Protection ActChapter 7 of Everyone’s Guide to the Consumer Protection Act by Clive Gibson and Geoff Hulllooks at “The Right to Fair and Responsible Marketing” as laid out in Sections 29 to 39 of the Act.

Read the excerpt which addresses issues such as negative option marketing and bait marketing:

To restrain or correct the worst abuses in the area of the marketing of goods or services, the Act introduces or re-enacts a number of provisions to address the following matters.

The Act sets out standards for fair and responsible marketing and provides a general prohibition against marketing that is misleading, fraudulent or deceptive, as described in section 29.

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Bertus Preller Examines Complaints Against SAPS for Failing to Comply with Domestic Violence Act

Everyone's Guide to Divorce and SeparationBertus Preller, family and divorce law attorney and author of Everyone’s Guide to Divorce and Separation, has written about the number of complaints lodged against the South African Police Force for failing to comply with the Domestic Violence Act.

Preller discusses the findings of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, which discovered “that there were a lack of understanding of the Act and that record keeping was a concern.”

Police stations in South Africa struggle to deal with domestic violence complaints and some of the main reasons are that police officers do not understand the Domestic Violence Act (the “Act”) and the law and are failing to cope with the paperwork according to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate. This article is not intended to criticise the Police force as a whole, but the data collected and alluded to below surely raises eyebrows.

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Judge Denis Davis Recommends Everyone’s Guide to Divorce and Separation to Lawyers and Public

Everyone's Guide to Divorce and SeparationOn his blog Divorce Attorney Cape Town, Bertus Preller has shared the foreword to his book Everyone’s Guide to Divorce and Separation, which is being released this month. In the foreword, Judge Denis Davis writes that Preller “has filled a very significant gap with this timely book, in that in plain language, he provides a comprehensive guide to the broader community through the thicket of law that now characterises this legal landscape.”. He further adds that many lawyers, who do not necessarily specialise in divorce, will also find the book handy.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT DIVORCE AND SEPARATION… With one in three marriages now ending in divorce, it is imperative to be informed of the pitfalls, challenges and legal aspects involved in divorce and separation. Other rules and laws may apply to the many couples who prefer to cohabit rather than get married, but they, too, need to be informed of their rights when the relationship breaks down.

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