Things to Know About South African Divorce Law

Divorce is a complex and devastating process and can be one of the most stressful things a person experiences in their lifetime. Added to the trauma of it all comes the complicated web of legal processes you have to navigate. Understanding divorce law alone can be overwhelming at best and almost impossible at worst. This complexity is why so many people opt to hire a professional with experience in divorce law. With a skilled and committed legal team by your side, the dissolution of a marriage (while painful) is easier to overcome. A qualified attorney will also help you see the bigger picture and advise you on the division of assets, custody rights, maintenance plans, and other legal considerations that might be of importance.

Three critical things to know about Divorce Law in South Africa.

1. No-fault system: South African Divorce Law is based on a no-fault system, meaning that no party is legally to blame for the dissolution of a marriage. The no-fault system came into legislation in 1979 when adultery was removed as a possible cause for the breakdown of a marriage. There are two fundamental reasons for divorce in the no-fault system: the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage (an umbrella term that covers a myriad of reasons why a relationship might end) and continual unconsciousness or mental illness.

2. Financial settlements: Financial settlements must be agreed upon before a divorce is granted in a court of law. If you and your ex-partner are married in the community of property, your shared assets and property will usually be divided equally. However, in more complex instances like one party spending negligently, further applications can be sent to determine each party’s access to joint assets. If you have married outside the community of property, then you will each have your separate assets, and anything individually accrued during your marriage will stay with you.

3. Children have the right to be included: Children have the right to share their views and opinions and be a part of the process where appropriate. Qualified legal professionals will help you to safeguard the rights and safety of your child and will be in line with international legal instruments (such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child) to ensure that their rights are upheld.

Get in Touch with Us for More Information

If you are looking for legal support, be sure to get in touch with us, and we’ll give you additional information and answer any questions that you might have about the process. Established in 2000, we have 21 years of experience in family and divorce law and are well-versed in the South African legal system. We offer clients confidentiality and sensitivity when it comes to all matters pertaining to divorce and will support you through every part of the process. We have a great deal of experience when it comes to children, including parental rights, parental contact, international relocation, primary residence issues, and child abduction. Contact us here and we will gladly get back to you.