Lexis® Practical Guidance: Family Law

Why Lexis® Practical Guidance: Family Law?

Users get direct access to critical, up-to-date information and guidance that they can rely on.
Lexis® Practical Guidance Family Law covers the essential information and easy-to use resources needed to effectively deal with Family Law matters in South Africa.

Users have access to practical aids and detailed guidance on processes involved in every step of the marital relationship from selecting a matrimonial regime to instituting divorce proceedings. Lexis® Practical Guidance Family Law also covers all aspects of family matters including paternity disputes, child and spousal maintenance, Children's Court matters and other more unusual aspects of family law such as international child abduction, adoption, surrogacy and assisted reproductive technology.

With Lexis® Practical Guidance Family Law you get:

Convenient online access to:
  • 10 Topic Overviews and over 160 Guidance Notes
  • More than 80 Forms, Precedents and Checklists – ensuring not a single step is missed
  • Legislation & Case Law – access to relevant cases at the click of a button
  • Practice Directives – practical advice on how to interpret the rules of court
  • Other useful resources such as external websites and additional readings

Guidance on each step taken in family law:
  • Matrimonial regimes
  • Drafting antenuptial contracts
  • Applications to vary the marital regime
  • Instituting divorce proceedings
  • The proprietary consequences of divorce
  • Applying for child and spousal maintenance
  • Paternity disputes
  • Enforcing maintenance orders
  • Interim maintenance in terms of Rule 43
  • Guardianship
  • Care of a child
  • The Children's Court.
  • International child abduction
  • Adoption
  • The legal spheres of surrogacy
  • Assisted reproductive technology

Guidance Notes

Useful reference material that offers direct access to relevant case law, legislation and commentary works, and practical know-how on specific areas within Family Law.
A few key guidance notes are outlined below. The full list can be viewed in the complete table of contents.

Requirements for a valid antenuptial contract

Antenuptial contracts can be complex to draft if you are not a family law attorney/specialist or a notary public. This guidance note provides:

  • The formal requirements for a valid antenuptial contract
  • Registering the antenuptial contract
  • Common exclusions from the accrual system
  • Customisable precedents of antenuptial contracts with and without accrual and how to cite minors

Mediation in divorce matters

With the rising costs of divorce proceedings, mediation is becoming an increasingly popular method of resolving divorce matters. This guidance note provides practitioners with detailed information on divorce mediation and includes:

  • Who can mediate
  • The preliminary steps that need to be taken prior to the mediation hearing
  • How to conduct a mediation hearing
  • Customisable precedents:
  • - agreements to mediate
    - statement of outcome of attempted mediation
    - settlement agreements

Practical Aids

Precedents, checklists and forms that can be used to offer advice confidently and execute tasks accurately. A few key resources are listed below. The full list can be viewed in the complete table of contents.

  • Antenuptial contract without accrual
  • Antenuptial contract with accrual
  • Cohabitation agreement
  • Surrogacy motherhood agreement
  • Contract in terms of section 21(2) to vary matrimonial regime
  • Checklist to register a postnuptial agreement
  • Settlement agreement
  • Agreement to mediate
  • Checklists for opposed divorces including:
  • - the opening statement by the plaintiff's counsel
    - opening statement for defendant's counsel
    - steps for examination in chief
    - cross examination and re-examination
  • Summons and particulars of claim for divorce matters
  • Notice in terms of Rule 43


Bianca Bernardis-Larratt

BA LLB (University of Natal)

Bianca has 17 years of experience and is a director in the Litigation Department at Garlicke & Bousfield where she focuses on commercial litigation. Bianca was also admitted as a conveyancer in 2006 and a notary public in 2007. She possesses extensive experience in matrimonial and family law matters and has a particular interest in matters relating to the protection of children.

Time is scarce and the law is ever changing. Keeping pace with the shifts is a job unto itself but, chances are, it is not your only job. 

Curated by top South African legal experts, LexisNexis® Practical Guidance™ helps you navigate dynamic legal terrain by delivering practical aids for your everyday concerns in one convenient platform. 

It saves you time and energy so you can focus on the expertise that only you have.

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Email: customercare@lexisnexis.co.za