Combined Summons – Start of the divorce process only Plaintiff need to sign on the line and the Plaintiff’s particulars
Particulars of claim – Only Plaintiff need to sign on the line at the Plaintiff’s
Deed of Settlement – Both of you as well as two witnesses and every page needs to be initial and full signatures on last page.
Annexure “A” you need to sign this in front of a Commissioner of Oaths only if you have minor children.
In addition complete the statistic form now you can start with the divorce process.
Make 4 Copies of the set of the original documents above:
Original Set – this will eventually be filed in the Court file.
The first copy – the sheriff will serve all documents on the defendant and the defendant will retain this copy.
The second copy – the Court will keep this copy as a substitute of documents in the Court file, once you issue the documents at Court.
The Third copy – this will be your copy.
The Fourth copy will be retained by the Family Advocate.
Take your ID and marriage certificate and go to the Regional Court of the Magistrates Court in your jurisdiction to issue the documents, hand all the sets to the Registrar of the Court. The Registrar will date, stamp, affix a case number, sign the documents and will keep a copy in the Court file and will hand all the documents back to you and explain to you the divorce process to follow.
Your next step will be to go to the sheriff, – please phone the sheriff first to find out if he has jurisdiction in the area of residence to file the documents on the Defendant, if not he will refer you to the appropriate Sheriff, with a request to serve the Summons and documents on the defendant, note that you will need to send the Original set of documents as well as the First set to the sheriff. The sheriff will charge you about R 100 – R 200 for serving the documents. It is advisable to call the sheriff’s office to find out whether he has jurisdiction to serve the documents on the defendant, if he does not have jurisdiction he will advise you which sheriff indeed have jurisdiction.
The sheriff can serve the documents in two ways on the defendant:
On the defendant at the sheriff’s office: In order to speed-up the process it is advisable that both you and the defendant meet at the sheriff’s office so that the sheriff can serve the documents there and then on the defendant, this will also be less costly and may result in your case being concluded sooner.
On the defendant at his/her home or work address: this will be more costly and may result in a time delay to conclude your divorce. Sheriff served the documentation on him/her, which will negate the 10-day period as specified in the Combined Summons.
Once the sheriff served the documents on the defendant he will issue a notice called a Return of Service. This is a vital part of the divorce process and a very important document. In order to collect the Return of Service do the following:
Where the sheriff served the documents on the Defendant at the sheriff offices: Two or three days after the summons and annexures were served on the defendant at the sheriff’s office, call the sheriff to find out whether you can uplift the Return of Service and the Original set of documents. Go to the sheriff’s office and collect the documents.
Where the sheriff served the documents on the Defendant at the defendant’s work or home address: Allow at least a week to enquire by way of telephone call whether the documents were served on the Defendant. If served go to the sheriff’s offices to collect the Return of Service and the Original set of documents.
The court registrar will direct you to the Family Advocate and explain to you the divorce process.
Once you have handed the documents in at the Family Advocate, they will call you if they need additional documents or discussions from you.
After 3 – 4 working days, call the Family Advocate office to find out if the Consent Paper was endorsed by them.
Collect your Consent Paper from the Family Advocate.
Once you received the documents from the Sheriff and the Family Advocate you will need to go back to the court to file the documentation below. The Registrar will then let you know when the matter will be placed on the court roll and the next divorce procedure.
The Court file to finalize your divorce procedure MUST contain:
The original Combined Summons
The original Particulars of Claim
The original Consent Paper with endorsement by the Family Advocate
The original Statistics Form
The original Return of Service of the sheriff
Other documents that you will need and which you must place in the Court File are:
A certified copy of your Identity document or passport
A certified copy of your marriage contract (ONLY if married out of community of property, if you don’t have a copy you can collect one from the Deeds Office)
A certified copy of your marriage certificate (obtainable at the Department of Home Affairs if you don’t have a copy)
These documents can be certified at any Police Station or Attorney Office or Bank institution by a Commissioner of Oaths.
On the date allocated for the hearing of the matter, see to it that you get to court at around 9h00.
Check the Court Roll to see in which court your matter will be heard and also which number it is on the roll, normally cases will be called alphabetically. You will also be able to see how the other matters are called and conducted, don’t be nervous.
Please feel free to contact our Self-Help-Divorce support line to help you in any matter regarding your divorce process.