Drafting divorce papers can be difficult above all a divorce can be an emotional and life changing event, make sure you get the best advise before proceeding. Hence we can assist you drafting your divorce documents.
Welcome to Self-Help-Divorce, for your DIY divorce papers in South Africa.
We use a state of the art online platform, and provide you with a step-by-step online solution to finalise your divorce in South Africa and complete forms online.
Therefor your divorce pack is drafted by an attorney from JC Pretorius & Associates Inc and your documents are unique to your situation.
We will make changes to your divorce papers if needed without any further cost.
We will also provide you with telephonic advise if you need any assistance during your divorce process.
As a result you don’t need to pay expensive fees to attorneys, you can get the same result for an uncontested divorce for R950-00.
Need more information contact me now with WhatsApp for immediate reply.
The divorce procedure in South Africa is relatively straightforward, yet the financial and emotional consequences can be profound for all parties.
Especially since the plaintiff will normally lodge the divorce in the High Court to start the divorce process. The backlog in cases was somewhat lessened when the Regional Courts Amendment Act came into effect in 2010 to amend the Magistrates’ Courts Act, 1944. So as to allow regional divisions of the magistrates’ courts to also deal with divorce cases.
Two types of divorces:
- the contested or opposed divorce and;
- the uncontested or unopposed.
Deed of Settlement
An unopposed divorce the spouses are able to reach an agreement. Therefor the agreement reached between the parties is reflected in a document known as a “Deed of Settlement”.
This document will set out the specific terms of the agreement reached between them such as how access will work where minor children are involved and what amount of maintenance needs to be paid. Spousal maintenance will also be negotiated between the parties.
Very often the where an agreement is reached between the parties, Summons will be issued with a copy of the signed Deed of settlement attached to it. Most importantly once service of summons with the attached Deed of Settlement has taken place, which is a formality required in terms of the Rules of Court.
The matter can be set down for hearing. Most importantly the Deed of Settlement will then be incorporated in and made an Order of Court with the Decree of Divorce
Process to follow
To start the divorce process the plaintiff need to issue a Summons in the High court or in the Regional Court and get a case number, a summons must be served personally on the defendant by the sheriff of the court as it has a to do with a persons status, the summons also referred to as the divorce papers.
The action starts on the date the summons is issued, after the summons has been served in person on the defendant he/she needs to gives notice of intention to defend the matter within 10 days if the parties live in the same jurisdiction of the court or within 20 days if the defendant live in different province.
After serving the notice of intention to defend the matter, the defendant must deliver a plea and must either admit, deny or avoid all the material facts alleged in the claim. Failure to plea can result in an order given against the defendant in their absence.
A court has jurisdiction in a divorce action if one or both parties are:
- domiciled in the area of jurisdiction of the court on the date on which the action is instituted;
- ordinarily resident in the area of jurisdiction of the court on the said date and has/have been ordinarily resident in South Africa for a period of not less than one year immediately prior to that date.
If a divorce is contested by the defendant it may take between 2 – 3 years. But most contested divorces do settle long before they go on trial. This process consists of various stages:
- application for and set down of trial date
- discovery of documents
- pre-trial conference
The formal documents or divorce papers in a divorce are referred to as pleadings. These can include the summons, particulars of claim, notice of defence, plea, and counterclaims.
- Summons: The divorce action starts on the date that the summons is issued. If the defendant (the person receiving the summons) wants to dispute the plaintiff’s claim, he/she must serve a notice of appearance within 10 days (if parties live in the same jurisdiction) or 21 days (where parties live in different provinces).
- Plea: After serving this notice of defence, the defendant must deliver a plea within 20 court days. In the plea, the defendant must either admit/deny/confess/avoid all the material facts alleged in the particulars of claim. Failure to submit this plea can result in judgement given against the defendant in their absence.
- Counterclaim: The defendant may deliver a counterclaim against the plea. This can be followed by a further plea to the counterclaim by the plaintiff.
Application for and set down of trial date
The plaintiff then makes an application for a trial date, allocated by the registrar. If this is not done within the prescribed number of days after the pleadings have been closed, the defendant may do so.
Discovery of documents In the period between close of pleadings and waiting for a trial date, there is a process called discovery. This is the where each party demands to see material the other party intends to use at trial. This may include bank statements, shareholdings in companies, credit card statements, bond accounts and tax returns.
Pre-trial conference The court may direct that an informal conference be conducted in the presence of the judicial officer in chambers, in order to consider a settlement of disputes.
Trial proceedings commence with both parties or their legal representatives being given an opportunity to deliver an opening address, in which the court is informed of the issues that are in agreement and those that are in dispute between the parties.
Judgement A divorce trial must culminate in the granting of judgement.
Doing your own divorce might be an option when
- your divorce is uncontested;
- your divorce is not complicated;
- you have been married for a short period of time;
- you don’t have substantial assets to divide;
- there are no disputes regarding any children; and/or
- you are prepared to do all the admin yourself.
Usually where children are involved or where there are substantial assets, retirement annuities or pension funds, and fix property it is advisable to seek the assistance of an attorney with family law experience. Note worthy to go back to court after a divorce was granted to rectify mistakes made by you or an inexperienced legal practitioner in a settlement agreement can be rather costly.
Self-Help-Divorce can help you make your separation as painless as possible and remove the frustration of completing a stream of long and confusing forms. Do you want a fast and cost saving divorce? We do not draft generic divorce papers, our divorce documents are drafted by an attorney at JC Pretorius Attorneys to meet your individual requirements. Self-Help-Divorce is a service provided by JC Pretorius Attorneys, a law firm specializing in divorce matters. You will qualify for an uncontested self help divorce in South Africa if you:
- Live in South Africa.
- You and your spouse agree on the settlement terms .
- No disputes regarding your children.
- You are prepared to do all the admin yourself.
Register to start your on -line process for an all inclusive fee of R950-00. Your documents will be drafted and checked by a divorce attorney, before we release your documents.
Attorney assisted divorce
Online divorce process
Your divorce can now be finalize in 3 easy steps, by using our online divorce process. Most of all the best option is do it in an uncontested manner.
You can proceed to get a divorce quote from us to choose the best option for you. The process is relatively easy, no face to face consultation with attorney. Your divorce can be finalized in 4 – 6 weeks. You and your spouse work together to agree, you will both consult the same attorney the parties agree prior to the divorce on how to divide the assets.
If there are minor children born out of the marriage you will agree which parent will become the parent of primary residence.
The parties agree that specific parental responsibilities and rights with regard to the contact with the minor children as contemplated in Section 18(2) (b) of the Children’s Act 38 of 2005 be awarded to the other party, ie (the defendant is entitled to remove the minor children every alternative weekend.
Deed of Settlement
A Deed of Settlement is then drafted, and signed by both parties, The summons will then state that the parties have reach a settlement, the summons still need to be served and the rule of the court followed. The matter will be set down, and the Deed of Settlement will be made an order of the court. This is the most cost effective type of divorce.