Divorce Law

A divorce can either be opposed or unopposed.

Unopposed divorces usually entails that the parties reach a settlement agreement which will be made an order of court. Our firm will assist in negotiating and drafting the necessary settlement agreement. This process (if the divorce is settled) is usually time and cost-effective and can take anything between 6 weeks – 2 months to be finalized.

Opposed divorces are usually complex, very expensive and can take anything between 2-5 years to be finalized. The process entails exchanging of pleadings and a trial which most likely will involve experts to guide the court in adjudicating the Divorce.

Rule 43 Applications

A Rule 43 application entails an interim application pending a divorce action for the speedy relief to regulate contact, maintenance (child and spousal) and contribution towards legal fees.

Relocation Applications/Emigration

In many settled divorce cases, a party faces a situation where they are not allowed to remove the minor children outside the borders of their residential province. This leaves parties destined to approach the court in the event they are required to relocate to another province, for example, due to working conditions, should the other parent refuse to provide their consent for such a relocation.

Edictal Citation

In some Divorce cases, it does happen that one spouse is present in South Africa and the other spouse is located in a foreign country. Due to the Rules of Court which specify that Divorce proceedings must be personally served on the other party, it becomes necessary in this circumstance to approach the court and obtain permission for service of the proceedings in another suitable manner. The application brought to court is called an application for edictal citation.

Urgent Applications

There exist various circumstances in which a party is necessitated to approach the court on an urgent basis. These types of applications can be considered as drastic due to the fact that we do away from the Rules of Court in these applications in that the opponent party will not have the luxury of normal time frames to respond to such an application and will the Applicant usually prescribe their own time frame in which the other party needs to respond.  A few examples of urgent applications entail, but are not limited to;

  • Kidnapping of minor children.
  • Interdicting another party.
  • Prohibiting one parent to make major decisions over minor children, such as removing a child from school without the consent of the other parent.
  • Refusal to return a minor child to a primary caregiver.
  • Etc.

It is crucial to take into account that the courts do not allow this process to be abused. Should parties abuse this process they run the risk of a punitive cost order being granted against them. It is therefore very important that urgency must be real and not self-created.

Consent To Travel Abroad With Minor Children Applications

Both parents must provide their written consent for minor children to travel outside the borders of South Africa, should one parent fail and or refuse to provide their consent, we will assist in obtaining a court order providing consent on behalf of such parent. It is however important to satisfy the court on the itinerary and details of departure and return before the court will grant such an order.