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Process of Divorce

Before starting the process of divorce, there are two things that will be necessary, first of all. Consulting a reliable and experienced divorce attorney Johannesburg and understanding the different kinds of divorce.

Popularly, there are two kinds of divorce. Contested divorce; in which the request for divorce is opposed, or uncontested divorce; in which case the request for divorce is unopposed. Of course, unopposed divorce is the more cost effective option and is settled far quicker than contested divorce. Uncontested divorce can be settled in as little as four weeks, where contested divorces can take up to three years, albeit, most contested divorce cases settle long before it goes on trial.

Division of assets is a pretty straightforward affair. Typically, the marital regime of the parties will determine how the assets are divided, but in certain situation, your divorce attorney Johannesburg and the court may determine otherwise, based on the specifics of the particular case. For instance, if one spouse committed adultery or wilfully and knowingly harmed the marriage, the court may impose all the legal costs on the guilty party, as well consider the fault in the division of assets and may, as such, divide most or all assets in favour of the innocent spouse.

South Africa operates under a “no fault” system, and as such parties of marriage may be divorced under the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage option. As such, a divorce may be granted without fault on either side of the married parties, or even if one partie wishes to remain married.

A legal marriage can only be dissolved by order of the court. The divorce attorney Johannesburg will assist in the process, and all matters related to the divorces, such as the division of assets and custody matters where children are involved. The spouse wishing to dissolve the marriage must issue a summons against the other spouse, stating that the marriage has broken down and that there is no reasonable prospect for reconciliation, and which matrimonial property regime governs the marriage. The summons must enable provisions for the division of the estate. This is to state that the married couple has either entered into a prior agreement, ask the court to divide the joint estate, or enforce the provisions of the ANC. Furthermore, the married couple must also state the arrangements with regards to children of the marriage.

The process is straightforward, and a divorce attorney Johannesburg can assist with the entirety of the process and proceedings. Uncontested divorce is the process in which a married couple works together to agree on the terms of their divorce. Both parties will consult with the same divorce attorney Johannesburg, there is no formal trial, and only the plaintiff will appear in court. Prior to the actual divorce, the married couple will decide how to divide the assets and where children are involved, which parent will gain primary custody. A settlement agreement is then drafted with the assistance of the divorce attorney Johannesburg and made an order of the court.

Further, there is default divorce. This is similar to uncontested divorce. The plaintiff prepares a summons, stating the party’s claims. The court will issue the summons and the sheriff serves the summons on the defendant. The summons will specify a number of days in which the defendant has to file a notice of intention to contest the divorce. If the defendant does not answer in the allotted time frame, the plaintiff may proceed with the divorce process. In all areas of divorce, a divorce attorney Johannesburg should be consulted for a clear understanding of the process. As such, there is the do-it-yourself-divorce but incorrect procedure could lead to a lot of money and time wasted.

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