Our divorce law department offers nationwide expert advice and assistance in all aspects of divorce, separation and family law matters.
Discuss all relevant facts:
- Spousal and child maintenance
- Custody and visitation rights in respect of children
- Financial implications, ie: division of joint estate/accrual calculation
- Family violence interdicts
- Necessity of lodging an application in terms of Rule 43
- Ascertain whether the matter is capable of settlement without litigation (in which event a meeting with your spouse and/or his attorney will be arranged to endeavour to settle the matter)
- Costs, and all other relevant matters
After the first consultation we shall advise you of your rights and advise on the manner in which the divorce should be handled – our proposals will be included in a summons in which we request the relevant Court to make an order directing that you are entitled to the legal relief claimed in the summons.
The summons will be drafted (if necessary, with the assistance of an Advocate of the Cape Bar), issued by the Registrar of the Court and provided to the Sheriff of the Court who will serve the summons on your spouse.
If your spouse decides not to defend the matter or if the matter is settled between the parties – we shall obtain a court date after the expiration of 10 Court days from the date on which the summons was served on your spouse and you will be divorced approximately 20 days after the date on which the summons was served on your spouse.
If your spouse decides to defend the matter, and the matter is not settled between the parties thereafter, the divorce will only be finalised in approximately 2 to 3 years due to the congested current court roll of the High Court in Cape Town.
Most matters (although not all) are however capable of settlement and we shall endeavour to reach a favourable settlement on your behalf.
To advise you on a fair and just settlement we shall, however, need full disclosure of the assets of both you and your spouse.
Procedure if defended matters
- Receive a notice of intention to defend from your spouse (must be delivered within 10 days after receipt of summons)
- Receive your spouse’s plea and counterclaim (within 20 days after receipt of the notice to defend)
- Draft and file your plea to your spouse’s counterclaim (within 20 days after receipt of counterclaim)
- At this stage the pleadings are closed and we shall apply for a Court date (which will only be allocated in approximately 12 months for a date approximately 6 to 12 months after the date of allocation)
- In the meantime we shall discover all your relevant information and force your spouse to provide us with his or her discovery
- After consideration of the discovered documents we shall be in a position to advise you and compile a settlement proposal which will be conveyed to your spouse
- If the matter is settled in the period before the allocated court date – we can apply for an undefended Court date and you will be divorced within approximately 10 days after settlement
- If the settlement proposals are not accepted we shall prepare for trial on the date allocated by the Registrar
- All days to which are referred to above constitute court days