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Uncontested Divorce Questions

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What steps should be taken to start an uncontested divorce?
If you and your spouse have already agreed on the terms of your divorce, the 4-step uncontested divorce process is the proposed route. In an uncontested divorce, the parties agree prior to the divorce on how to divide their assets and, if there are children involved, the care and contact arrangements and the maintenance obligations. A settlement agreement is then drafted with the assistance of the attorney, entered into (signed) by both parties, and made an order of the court after service by the Sheriff and endorsement by the Family Advocate (if relevant). An uncontested divorce is without a doubt the least expensive type of divorce.
What happens if my spouse does not want to sign the divorce papers?
You will have to contact your divorce attorney to discuss the situation. Depending on the circumstances, a roundtable meeting, divorce mediation, to issue summons on a contested basis or to continue to the next step of the contested divorce process, might be recommended.
Can I serve the divorce papers myself?
No, the Sheriff will have to serve the divorce papers on your spouse.

If the whereabouts of your spouse are unknown or if he/she resides abroad, a substituted service application to ask the Court’s permission to serve the divorce papers in an alternative manner (by way of email, Facebook, publication in a newspaper, etc.) will be necessary. It would be advisable to contact your divorce attorney for assistance with this process.

What documents do I need for an uncontested divorce?
The following documents will usually be requested by your divorce attorney:

  • Copy of Your ID Document and/or Passport
  • Proof of Your Income Tax Number
  • Proof of Your Residential Address
  • Copy of Your Antenuptial Contract (if any)
  • Your Marriage Certificate

Depending on the facts of your case, further documents may also be requested, for example: updated valuations of immovable property, a list of assets and liabilities, etc.

How long does it take to get an uncontested divorce?
WESTERN CAPE: A local, uncontested divorce, where both parties agree to the terms of the divorce, can be finalized in as little as 4 – 8 weeks from date of signing the divorce papers, depending on individual circumstances.

OTHER PROVINCES: A local, uncontested divorce in any of the other provinces usually take slightly longer as the court dates are usually allocated based on availability.

How long does it take for the divorce to be final after signing the papers?
After signing and service it usually takes a few weeks to finalise the divorce. It should be noted that there are a range of factors which can influence the timeline – the Sheriff’s workload, court date availability, etc.
How long do you have to wait before a divorce is final?
In the Western Cape an uncontested, local divorce can be finalised in as little as 4 – 8 weeks from date of receipt of the duly signed settlement agreement. If a divorce is contested it may take many months, even years, to reach trial stage.

International divorce matters usually take longer than local divorces.

How fast can you get a divorce?
There are a range of factors which may influence the timeline – the attorney’s workload, the Sheriff’s workload, the speed of the courier or the Post Office’s services, the court recess calendar and court date availability.

WESTERN CAPE: We usually aim to finalise uncontested, local Western Cape divorce matters within 4 – 8 weeks from date of receiving the signed settlement agreement.

OTHER PROVINCES: Uncontested, local divorce matters in other provinces and uncontested, international divorce matters usually take a few months to finalise.

How much does a divorce cost?

Patton Williams Attorneys offers uncontested divorces services at fixed, all-inclusive rates.

Click here for iedivorce’s current pricelist.

Contested divorces are usually charged in accordance with the divorce attorney’s hourly rate. Disbursements (expenses) which include phone calls, emails, printing, scanning, copies, Sheriff’s accounts, Advocate’s accounts, etc. will also be for the client’s account.

How much does an uncontested divorce cost? / How much does it cost to get a mutual divorce?

Click here to read the Uncontested Divorce Pricelist.

Can you make your spouse pay for the uncontested divorce?
If the divorce is by agreement, arrangements regarding the legal fees will also form part of such agreement. This will have to be recorded in the divorce settlement agreement.