The iedivorce Process In 4 Steps Explained
Our 4-step uncontested divorce process – Innovation of litigation
1. COMPLETE THE QUESTIONNAIRE
You and your spouse must already agree to the major terms of the divorce; in other words, your divorce must be uncontested, or you and your spouse must be willing to sign a settlement agreement when you approach us. If this is the case, you will be charged a fixed fee for your divorce and can complete our online divorce questionnaire here. After you have completed the online divorce questionnaire, you will receive a mandate letter from Patton Williams Attorneys, setting out the terms of engagement, the firm’s trust banking details as well as a list of the documents you need to send to us in terms of the FICA (legislation). If your divorce is expected to be defended, you can email email@example.com to book a consultation.
2. PAY THE FIXED FEE
View our fixed rates here. A 55% deposit is payable to open your file and for us to commence drafting your divorce papers. The balance is payable as soon as the Defendant is served with the divorce summons.
3. SIGN THE DIVORCE PAPERS
The drafting process will begin as soon as Patton Williams Attorneys receives your proof of payment (of the deposit). We will draft all your divorce documents which include the combined summons, particulars of claim, settlement agreement, parenting plan and Annexure A for the Family Advocate (if relevant), in accordance with the contents of the divorce questionnaire that you have submitted to us. We will send you the drafts for comments and approval before we arrange the signing of the final documents. It is important to note that you and your spouse must sign the parenting plan (if relevant) and the settlement agreement. If not, the contested divorce process will need to be followed, or you will need to obtain a default divorce from a non-responsive spouse.
4. ATTEND COURT DAY
After we have received the signed documents back from you, we will attend to all further paperwork. We will issue your divorce summons at the relevant court and arrange for service of the divorce summons on your spouse (the Defendant) by the Sheriff. (In terms of South African law the Sheriff must personally serve/deliver the divorce summons on the Defendant/spouse0. Approximately 10-15 days after service of the divorce summons on your spouse, we will contact you to arrange a suitable court date. On the court date, we will accompany you to the hearing and guide you through the entire process. Please note that it is only necessary for one spouse (the plaintiff, the party who started divorce proceedings) to attend court.
How do you know if your divorce is uncontested?
South Africa has two main types of divorce processes: uncontested and contested.
CONTESTED DIVORCE – THE “UNFRIENDLY” DIVORCE
The contested divorce process will be the only option if you and your spouse cannot agree to the divorce terms. A contested divorce is more complicated, drawn-out and costly than an uncontested one. In most contested divorces, both parties will have attorneys and advocates to assist them with the paperwork. After a contested divorce’s pleadings and discovery phase is completed, the attorneys (usually the Plaintiff) will apply for a court date. Pre-trials and the final trial will follow if no settlement can be reached. With a contested divorce, the parties have no control over the outcome of their case. The judge or the magistrate will decide based on the evidence both parties have submitted to the court for consideration.
The first step of the contested divorce process is to arrange a consultation with a qualified divorce attorney to discuss the facts of your case and your rights. During the first consultation, the divorce process and the attorney’s fee structure will be explained to you.
Contact us today to arrange your first consultation.
UNCONTESTED DIVORCE – THE “FRIENDLY” DIVORCE
An uncontested divorce is one where the parties have reached an agreement. If you and your spouse are willing to agree to the terms of the divorce by signing a divorce settlement agreement and parenting plan (where relevant), we will assist you to finalise your divorce at a fixed, all-inclusive fee. This is a relatively simple and inexpensive procedure of divorce where the parties keep control over the outcome of their case.
Click here to start the online uncontested divorce process.
Need More Information?
We are ready to answer your questions and help you through this nerve-wracking time.