What is the divorce process in South Africa?


What is the divorce process in South Africa?


The divorce process in South Africa is outlined in the Divorce Act, among other applicable laws.

Essentially, one has to sue to get divorced.

To sue for divorce one must first determine which court has jurisdiction to hear your matter.

You must approach the court of your area; either the local magistrates’ court, or the high court.

Either way, a summons needs to be prepared, issued at court, and served by the sheriff personally on your spouse.

If there are minor children of the marriage, the family advocate will want to see the summons, before the divorce hearing.

Once the sheriff serves the summons, it needs to be returned to court, with a report about this service, and a court date needs to be applied for.

A court date will be given in a few weeks time, but the court file needs to be prepared properly.

An experienced divorce lawyer can help prepare the summons, deal with the Family Advocate, and prepare the court file.

One needs to index and paginate the court file, and ensure that certain evidence, and original papers are included.

When both parties agree to the divorce, and the material terms, a consent paper is included, and where there are children, a parenting plan too.

The parenting plan must be endorsed by a Family Advocate.

With an uncontested divorce, only one party, usually the Plaintiff, needs to appear at court for the hearing.

The hearing will involve a short appearance by the Plaintiff, and answer simple questions about their marriage and breakdown.

The appearance at court can be intimidating, but a good divorce lawyer can help guide you through the process.

If you wish to proceed with the divorce process in the most efficient way possible, we recommend that you consult with an experienced specialist divorce lawyer.

Simon Dippenaar & Associates Inc. (aka SD Law) is a law firm of specialised divorce attorneys and family lawyers, in Cape Town, and Johannesburg. Call up today on +27 (0) 86 099 5146 or email us to sdippenaar@sdlaw.co.za for help with the South African divorce process.

We will protect your legal interests with uncompromising dignity.

Download our free guide here: SD Law Guide to Divorce

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The information on this website is provided to assist the reader with a general understanding of the law. While we believe the information to be factually accurate, and have taken care in our preparation of these pages, these articles cannot and do not take individual circumstances into account and are not a substitute for personal legal advice. If you have a legal matter that concerns you, please consult a qualified attorney. Simon Dippenaar & Associates takes no responsibility for any action you may take as a result of reading the information contained herein (or the consequences thereof), in the absence of professional legal advice.

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