Divorce in South Africa – Your Best Alternatives

Most South Africans divorce inside the first five to 9 several years of marriage and most of people are initiated by girls.

The most common explanation sited for divorce in South Africa is just that the couples drift apart, followed closely by drug and alcoholic beverages abuse (cocaine use currently being common), physical abuse and unemployment.

Much more recently, studies exhibit that monetary problems are coming to the fore in most divorce cases submitted for the latter 50 % of 2007 early 2008 although infidelity and deficiency of interaction are cited significantly less.

Dissolving Marriages

As in most nations around the world, married partners can dissolve their relationship through divorce leaving the get-togethers to remarry lawfully yet again at a afterwards day. The procedure is dependent on the position of the marriage. In South Africa that is generally a civil relationship – in local community of property or out of neighborhood of property. Some South African marriages are also customary marriages.

A civil relationship can be dissolved according to the Divorce Act. Customary marriages are dissolved according to civil legislation but also according to customized and custom.

Addressing the Troubles

Just before petitioning for divorce, appear intently at your options:

* Can you reconcile?

* Do you have to have a lawyer?

* Can you agree an asset break up?

* Maintenance and custody of the youngsters?

* What about alimony?

* What are the costs?


Most very good lawyers will recommend the petitioner to request counselling and take a look at reconciliation prior to filing for divorce as the methods can be prolonged and pricey if each events are not in agreement.

There are numerous avenues to stick to in regard to reconciliation. FAMSA offer you an outstanding counselling and arbitration assistance to partners dealing with divorce.

Deciding upon a attorney

A petitioner requires to ask first and foremost if a law firm is required? If a couple is in agreement about proceeding with a divorce then the petitioner can file for divorce at the local court docket for a fee of R120, a copy of your marriage certificate, a copy of your ID and your accomplished divorce papers.

If a couple can’t agree on the concerns of the divorce then it is sensible to request legal guidance but bear in mind that every divorce situation is unique. Concern your legal professional on their specialisations, their solution to divorce – is it tactical or intense? Most importantly, request them to define their charge structure in full upfront.

Can you concur?

If the couple can concur on asset break up, servicing and custody of minors then filing at the neighborhood court docket is the simplest option. Usually a 50:50 split is awarded by the court docket in any case so combating up front only expenses you cash. Sit down and be useful. You both have to get started over and what you get rid of in authorized costs could be set to much better use.

If you can agree, draw up the agreement and each sign it and have it witnessed and connect it to your divorce petition. (Arrangement)

Custody of the small children

Custody need to be agreed right before a court will grant a divorce. Think about what is ideal for your small children rationally. In most scenarios the woman is typically granted custody nonetheless it is not unusual for a pair to concur that custody be granted to the father. In African Customary Legislation the father generally remains the childrens pure guardian.

Irrespective of custody, maintenance and visitation is demanded to be agreed on and where by a couple can not or will not agree the court will choose bearing in thoughts that all mom and dad have a obligation to assistance their young children like all illegitimate small children.

Upkeep issues can be resolved to the Upkeep court docket at the time the divorce is finalised.


It is exceptional in South Africa that Alimony is awarded unless the spouse can show that they are incapable of earning a dwelling as they have been a home-husband or wife/mother or father because the inception of the relationship and have no noticeable usually means of help.

Alimony is usually agreed by the few for a set interval and taken into account with the settlement settlement.

The charges

Obtaining divorced can be very expensive. It is recommended to petition for divorce oneself by means of the regional magistrates courtroom to retain costs at a least. Agreeing the settlement, custody and upkeep upfront is the greatest answer in South Africa as it negates the have to have for an legal professional and authorized costs.

Figures released a short while ago confirmed that the divorce level previous yr was the least expensive but, and analysts say financial uncertainty has built unhappily married partners unwilling to part techniques. Number of couples divorce through hard economic moments for the reason that legal professionals expenses are basically way too pricey, normally ensuing in even more fiscal challenges for the couple as they enter their new lives.

Ideal Possibilities

Go to your regional magistrates court docket and inquire for their support. It is acceptable and just as efficient.

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