Divorce papers: All documents needed for divorce in South Africa 2022

Divorce papers: All documents needed for divorce in South Africa 2022

Whenever you vow to marry someone, getting an annulment is usually the last thing on your mind. However, if the case arises, getting a judicial separation can be stressful and confusing for couples and their families. There is no easy way to go through a divorce or come out of it without it being a highly emotional process. This article highlights filing for divorce in South Africa and what critical divorce papers are needed for a successful annulment.

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What documents are needed for divorce
A divorce is a legal process that is carried out in the courts with lawyers involved. Photo: @ms.ashleyanderson
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A divorce is a separation process that is carried out legally. The separation will be dissolved using the Annulment Act when a marriage is done civilly. Marriages carried out in African Customary Law are ended using civil or customary law. However, some traditions may also apply whenever these civil laws are applied.

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Under what circumstances can you file a divorce?

There are several reasons for one to qualify for a separation. Only under certain circumstances can separation take place. This includes:

  • When one partner cheats on the other
  • If the partners have not lived together in a long while
  • When one partner leaves the other
  • If one of the two parties can prove that both of you can no longer live together and that the issue cannot be resolved
  • If either of the spouses has mental problems that are affecting the marriage
  • If the partners no longer love each other

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You do not need the permission of your spouse to go through with a separation. If they are not willing to file for separation, you can get a separation granted with or without their consent. It would help if you had a summon served for the annulment process to begin. It can be served personally on the defendant by the court's sheriff.

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What documents do you need to get divorced i South Africa?
You need to know all the necessary documents to file a divorce. Photo: @sue's Notary & Messenger Service
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What documents do you need to get divorced in South Africa?

For an online separation, there is no need to submit any documents. Which documents will you attach to the divorce summons in South Africa? Only after submission do you get an email that requests the documents below;

  • Your official South African identity documents
  • Marriage Certificate
  • All other summonses will be provided by the court or aw firm involved.

Along with the summons, there may also be the settlements attached to the summons. For example, which court deals with divorce: you can either separate through the Regional court of the Magistrate Court having jurisdiction in your area or the High Court.

How to file for divorce in South Africa
Filing for divorce can be emotionally draining. Photo: @Guideway
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How to file for divorce in South Africa

There are two main types of annulment, these are an uncontested divorce and a contested divorce. Uncontested annulments are more straightforward because both parties agree on the divorce or settlement.

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Detailed guideline on how to get divorce in South Africa

Whether your separation is contested or uncontested, you need to follow the steps below:

  • The first step is to visit the High court or the family court in your area
  • Ask for help with the summons
  • Attach a stamp and pay for it
  • Make copies and give them to the clerk who will sign the documents and give you a reference number
  • Next, give the original copies to the sheriff of the court
  • The sheriff will deliver the summons to your partner, indicating the date they can counterclaim
  • If your spouse is okay with the terms and does not counterclaim, your separation will be added to those in the high court, and you will appear in court
  • The individual making the case will come to court, where a judge will ask questions to confirm data, and the judge may annul the marriage.
  • If your partner disagrees with the claims, they will counterclaim
  • They will come up with a document with their defence
  • A trial then follows, and you must have your documents that will be used during the trial
  • The judge listens to both sides of the story and concludes about the marriage depending on the information they have read or received

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This is the standard procedure to file for separation. However, the process is much easier and faster online. What is the fastest way to get a divorce in South Africa? A DIY separation is straightforward to file for separation without an attorney. This is known as the DIY divorce.

How do I get separation papers online in South Africa?

You need to get all the required forms from your local magistrate or use an online separation service. The process becomes easier if the separation is uncontested. It can be concluded in four weeks.

How do I get divorce papers online in South Africa?
How do I get a DIY divorce? Photo: @McFarland Brian V Attorney
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Apart from the court separation, there is also the mediation separation, where a third party with legal background helps you and your partner reach an agreement. A mediator helps divide assets and find an agreement, which must be presented to the court when applying for the divorce.

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During the separation process, you will experience many emotions and if you are considering an annulment, you need to find the best way to deal with them. Some of the emotions you will go through, include denial, bargaining, depression, acceptance, and anger. You may want to seek therapeutical help for your mental well-being.

DISCLAIMER: This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. Therefore, it is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility.

READ ALSO: How to get a divorce decree copy in South Africa-A Guide

Briefly.co.za recently published an article on how to get a divorce decree copy in South Africa. If you lose your decree copy, you can get a copy from the High Court where your divorce was carried out. Here is a guide on how to do so in very few steps. Read through to get an insight.

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