Lawbuntu Learn

Welcome to Lawbuntu Learn. Browse through the different legal topics to learn more about the law in South Africa.

Divorce

If you are getting divorced, the law is here to make it as quick and fair as possible.

Make sure you understand your rights and obligations!

Read the information below to learn about getting divorced in South Africa.

4 Important Issues to Consider:

  1. Try and make marriage work.
  2. Divorce affects children the most.
  3. Divorce will affect your estate.
  4. Speaking to a psychologist can help.

What?

A divorce is the end of a marriage.

The marriage contract will be cancelled, and the parties are no longer partners (e.g. husband and wife). This normally means division of estates.

Types

Opposed & Unopposed divorce.

Opposed divorce = No agreement reached. Longer (years) and expensive.

Unopposed divorce = Settlement agreement. Fasters (months) and cheaper.

Try and agree on issues like maintenance and assets to avoid fighting.

Estate

Your divorce will affect your estate.

Divorce orders must be satisfied BEFORE your estate is divided under your Will.

This means that claims for maintenance and joint assets must be finalised first.

Assets are usually what people fight about.

The contract of marriage you signed will provide direction.

Be careful... fighting over assets can be very expensive.

It is best to be reasonable and try settling everything as quickly as possible.

How

5 steps to being divorced.

  • Find a lawyer or approach the Court.
  • Issue Combined Summons (includes particulars).
  • Sign Settlement Agreement
  • Go to Court
  • Get Divorce Order
  • Where?

    You get divorced in Court.

    The High Court used to be the only option,

    You can now get divorced in certain Magistrates Courts.

    Who?

    Any married couple can get divorced.

    Why?

    People get divorced for many different reasons.

    The Court requires that the marriage has ‘broken down irretrievably’.

    This means there is no reasonable chance of the couple getting back together.

    You will have to explain to the Court why the marriage has broken down.

    When?

    When you feel there is no prospect of saving your marriage.

    Marriage counselling can help!