International divorce can take on a few different faces. Most commonly, you can either be a South African resident wishing to divorce a spouse who no longer lives in the country, or be a foreigner living in South Africa wishing to divorce your spouse. Both scenarios are possible.
Typically, the divorce process starts when a summons is served. However, this is where the legal paper trail starts. Initially, divorce starts with the decision to file for divorce. As such every scenario is unique and the first step should be to consult a divorce attorney Johannesburg. A divorce attorney Johannesburg can properly advice on the proceedings and assist with the complicated paper work and administrations.
One of the first things your divorce attorney Johannesburg will inform you on is the summons. When your spouse lives in a foreign country, a service may be applied in which the plaintiff gains permission by the court to serve a summons to his/her spouse in another country. However, the court must be satisfied that this will be done properly by an official of the court in the foreign country. Your divorce attorney Johannesburg will guide and assist in the proper procedure and administration of this process.
Once the summons is served, your spouse will have a designated time frame in which he/she can defend. If the defendant ignores or defends the summons, the divorce attorney Johannesburg can set a trial date that has been prearranged.
The divorce attorney Johannesburg will then assist in the proceedings. Uncontested divorce is a far more affordable way to divorce, and present lesser problems, where contested divorce is more problematic and will require delicate assistance from your divorce attorney Johannesburg.
If you are a foreigner (not a South African citizen) but live in South Africa and wish to get divorced, you may do so through the South African courts if you have been living in South Africa for more than a year.
In these two instances international divorce is possible. As such, if you are a South African citizen living in a foreign country and wish to divorce a spouse residing in South Africa, this is also possible.
So international divorce is possible and does not have to be a daunting experience. However, as stated, the process of international divorce must follow a particular procedure and various administrations must be carried out, which, ordinarily, is of a complicated nature, and your divorce attorney can effectively assist.
As such, minor children may add to the complexities of international divorce and will require guidance from a legal professional. Adding to the complications that may surround international divorce is the possible disputes of whether or not to get divorced through South African courts. The benefits of these decisions are based on the details pertaining to the particular case.
When deciding to divorce a spouse who lives overseas, you may have trouble locating him/her. As such a whole other process must start to indicate and prove to the court that your spouse is missing. A divorce attorney Johannesburg will advise on the procedure to serve a summons on a spouse who is missing. You will first need to execute a series of sleuthing procedures and state your efforts and findings in an affidavit. The court will then decide on an adequate method to serve a summons in which they think will reach the defendant.
International divorce, as explained, can present a few unexpected hurdles. These disturbances in a divorce case may appear foreign to someone going through divorce for the first, or even third time. As such, legal professionals have the best knowledge and experience to effectively move aside and get past these complications.