This past decade has challenged many people in South Africa and around the world with through various emotional events. The outspoken Julius Malema, President Zuma’s acquittal, Shabir Shaik’s release from prison and the murders of Lolly Jackson and Eugene Terblanche, the 9-11, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Tsunami, the deepest recession since the Great Depression, the sacking of President Mbeki and the first African-American President. Many changes happened in the area of divorce and Family Law as well. The following, in no particular order, are my top divorce and family law related issues since 2000:
The advent of the Internet and social networking
The immense impact of the virtual world and the internet on divorce. Social networking. The rise of Facebook, YouTube, and other sites, where people carelessly share their innermost secrets, with little concern for the consequences of detection by the wrong party. Sms, E-mails, bullying and “sexting” have had a noticeable impact on divorce, and the way family law attorneys handle their cases, and have also impacted our society as a whole.
The recognition of Same-Sex Marriages
Same-sex marriages have come to the forefront during the past several years, became legal in South Africa.
Divorcing without an Attorney
The tremendous rise in people filing for divorce on their own online through divorce services such as eDivorce, people can no longer afford to hire professional legal services.
Parental alienation, which has been talked about, written about, and discussed, at length, exists in many of my cases. One parent systematically alienates the child/children against the other parent, with devastating and long-term results, not only to the child or children, but to both the parent being alienated, and most assuredly, the alienating parent.
The poor economy and retrenchments have forced many people to seek employment in other provinces and countries, uprooting entire families and forcing children into unfamiliar surroundings and new schools.
Fathers becoming primary caregivers and parents of permanent residence
The significant increase in fathers becoming primary caregiver and the parent of permanent residence. In addition, there is a considerable increase in the number of couples opting for shared or joint parenting on an equal or close-to-equal basis.
The rise in domestic violence, especially with the stress caused by the economic nightmare of the past three years.
During the past two years, people have been inflicted with a brutal reality self-imposed credit card debt, resulting in a lack of financial resources to weather the storm. Couples stayed married, however, simply because of the financial decay each would undeniably face if a divorce action was pursued. Many of my recent divorce cases went hand-in-hand with debt problems.
Unamarried Fathers Rights
The parental rights unmarried fathers gained automatically to their children was an absolue necessity in our law.
Family Law Attorney
Abrahams and Gross Inc.
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