Becoming husband and wife is very similar to an employment contract. At what point do you “get married?” Often marriages are done in a church or at the Magistrate offices. When you say ‘yes’ and sign the documents you are married. The same goes for the employment agreement.
Saying yes and agreeing verbally and then signing the employment contract, means an agreement is agreed to. It has happened in the past that the employer agrees verbally that there is an agreement and then the employee does not pitch up for work, or the employer denies the relationship and says it was only a discussion.
A verbal agreement does count but proving it is often the problem, if there are no witnesses. So get agreements in writing. To end a relationship once it has been entered into is a complicated process. This goes for labour law as well as divorce proceedings.
It is well known that a high percentage of marriages in SA end in divorce. Some figures estimate it being 50% of all marriages.
When getting divorced you need to make some informed decisions, again similar to resigning your job. Make sure you have another position.
Always get to know your obligations and rights.
The author has learned when qualifying as a Mediator that the whole mediation process is very similar to divorce cases, as the parties must get to their own outcome and not be forced to settle on something that one party is not happy with. Many commentators and those who have been through a divorce will advise that a divorce is an extremely traumatic event in an individual’s life.
When contemplating a divorce, bear the following in mind:
* How do I go about doing it?
* What are the costs, how can we afford it?
At the end of the day think first!!

Kind Regards, Nico Pienaar (Director)