How to Sign Divorce Papers

This article aims to guide you through the 3rd Step of the uncontested divorce process: signing the divorce papers.

Which divorce papers must be signed?

UNCONTESTED DIVORCE WITHOUT CHILDREN

In an attorney-managed uncontested divorce, the following documents must be signed by both parties if there are no minor children involved:

  • Settlement Agreement (sometimes also referred to as “Consent Paper”)

 

UNCONTESTED DIVORCE WITH CHILDREN

If there is a minor child or minor children involved, the following documents must be signed by both parties:

  • Parenting Plan
  • Settlement Agreement (sometimes also referred to as “Consent Paper”)

The Plaintiff, the spouse who started divorce proceedings, will also have to sign a document called “Annexure A” in front of a Commissioner of Oaths.

What is “Annexure A”?
A blog post with full details will soon be published on The Divorce Law Blog.

INTERNATIONAL DIVORCE

In addition to the divorce papers mentioned above, each party will also have to sign an affidavit in support of the application for edictal citation by way of substituted service.

How to Sign Divorce Papers?

PARENTING PLAN

  • Both parties and their 4 witnesses (2 witnesses per spouse) must sign in full at the end of the parenting plan, where indicated on the document.
  • Both parties and their 4 witnesses (2 witnesses per spouse) must initial every page, lower right hand corner. *

How to sign a parenting plan - Divorce Papers

 

SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT

  • Both parties and their 4 witnesses (2 witnesses per spouse) must sign in full at the end of the settlement agreement, where indicated on the document.
  • Both parties and their 4 witnesses (2 witnesses per spouse) must initial every page, lower right hand corner. *

Divorce Papers

 

ANNEXURE A / AFFIDAVIT:

  • The relevant party and Commissioner of Oaths must sign in full at the end of the affidavit, where indicated on the document.
  • Both the Commissioner of Oaths and Plaintiff must initial every page, lower right hand corner. *
  • The Commissioner of Oaths must also add his/her stamp and write the date and his/her details, where indicated on the document.

Divorce Papers - Uncontested Divorce

 

How to Sign Divorce Papers Abroad?

If a party is not in South Africa when signing the divorce papers, he/she must arrange to sign the divorce papers in front of a Notary Public. In addition to the signing requirements above, the Notary Public will have to initial every page* and sign in full at the end of the document. The Notary Public must add his/her stamp, details and the date.

What is a Notary Public?
A Notary Public, also sometimes referred to as “Notary”, is an attorney who has also been admitted as a Notary Public. He/she can witness and authenticate certain documents, administer oaths and take affidavits. He/she can also endorse documents to be used abroad.

*It is not a requirement for a person to initial a page on which he/she signs in full. If, however, there is an initial and signature of the same person on a page, it will not be wrong. To avoid unnecessary confusion, our usual instructions are that every page must be initialled.

Which Colour Pen Should Be Used?

The documents should be printed on white paper and signed with a black ink pen.

More Information:

Download your free copy of What You Should Know Before Filing for Divorce for quick answers in plain language.

 

Divorce Attorney Ilizna Esterhuyse - Divorce PapersIlizna Esterhuyse, founder of iedivorce and author of What You Should Know Before Filing for Divorce is an admitted attorney of the High Court of South Africa, specializing in Divorce and Family Law matters. Her fields of interest include Divorce Law, Family Law, Domestic Violence Law and International Divorce Law. Her vision is to demystify Family Law processes, helping good people in plain language and with great technology, to achieve remarkable results.