How does the divorce process work?


There are two options available. The first option is an unopposed divorce. This is the quickest and most cost-effective option. We can give you a quote for the total cost and an indication of how long it will take to finalise the divorce.

An unopposed divorce involves drafting a consent paper (i.e. a settlement agreement) that you and your spouse sign. The consent paper is taken to court, along with a summons. The sheriff serves the documents on the defendant. (The person who initiates the divorce action is called the plaintiff; the other spouse is the defendant. Even in an unopposed divorce one of you must bring the action against the other.) Once the documents have been served, we will get a date for the matter. The entire process takes between six and 12 weeks and costs between R7 500 and R15 000 (excluding VAT and disbursements). For more about our online DIY divorce options, click here.

If your partner does not agree to the divorce, the divorce is considered opposed. In this case, we will charge a flat inclusive value-based fee. This varies from case to case and factors include urgency and complexity. Opposed divorces take between one and four years to finalise.

We recommend trying to settle a divorce prior to proceeding with litigation. Mediation can help. The courts also require this.

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The information on this website is provided to assist the reader with a general understanding of the law. While we believe the information to be factually accurate, and have taken care in our preparation of these pages, these articles cannot and do not take individual circumstances into account and are not a substitute for personal legal advice. If you have a legal matter that concerns you, please consult a qualified attorney. Simon Dippenaar & Associates takes no responsibility for any action you may take as a result of reading the information contained herein (or the consequences thereof), in the absence of professional legal advice.

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