Chris Fick & Associates

Divorce: Remember to review your will!

“It has long been a foundational principle of our common law and the legislation that has governed the law of testamentary succession that a will, properly executed, is the document that authoritatively reflects the genuine and voluntary dispositions of a testatrix.” (Extract from judgment below) Most people when making wills and estate plans will lean […]

Trusts on divorce: Are you stuck with an ex-spouse as trustee?

“Love is grand. Divorce is a hundred grand.” (Anon) Trusts may be formed for a variety of reasons, and the purpose and structure of each trust will inform the choice of trustees. When it comes to families aiming to preserve and protect family assets for future generations, often both spouses are appointed not only as […]

Spousal maintenance after divorce and the “clean break” principle

“The clean break principle after divorce has found resonance with our courts for many years.  The aim of this principle is to ensure that the parties become financially independent of each other as soon as possible after divorce.” (Extract from judgment below) Our courts always prioritise the interests of children in any marital breakup, and […]

Who gets the house on divorce?

“I am a marvelous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man, I keep his house” (seven-times-divorced actress Zsa Zsa Gabor) Historically 44% of South African marriages have ended in divorce, and there has reportedly been a 20% surge in new divorce applications since lockdown. For those unfortunate couples whose marriages do eventually fall apart, often the […]

Divorce in a time of lockdown – What grounds can you rely on?

The National Lockdown has thrown together many couples not used to spending “24/7” time in each other’s company. Relationships will have strengthened for many couples, but others will be struggling. The fears, anxieties and money worries now looming over us all certainly won’t haven’t helped. If your marriage is one of those unfortunate ones that […]

January is “Divorce Month”: Beware the dangers of DIY

The festivities are over, the bills are coming in and everyone is returning to reality. Couples who for most of the year only have to live with each other after work hours, have suddenly spent a whole lot more 24/7 time in each other’s close company. Little irritations have magnified, habits have got on each […]

Changing your surname – Your choices on marriage, divorce and widowhood

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet” (Shakespeare) You cannot lawfully use any surname in South Africa other than the one shown in the National Population Register (NPR), and trying to do so will land you in a lot of hassle and probably in legal […]


A recent Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) decision illustrates once again how essential it is, before getting married, to have your lawyer structure your antenuptial contract (ANC) correctly, and with as much detail as is needed for certainty. A multi-million Rand fight over trust assets A divorcing couple had married and divorced three times. They […]


“….. trust assets held by a trustee in trust, do not form part of the personal property of such trustee as a matter of law” (extract from judgment below) What happens if your home is registered in the name of a trust and you get divorced?  Do you get a share of the house’s value? […]