What you need to know

  1. The court does not force parties to divorce.
  2. The court does not force any party who wishes to divorce to remain married.
  3. If your marriage is registered in terms of customary law divorce is granted at the Magistrate’s Court.
  4. If you are married in terms of an unregistered customary law union, how the property of the union can be shared is determined at the Magistrate’s Court.
  5. If you are married in terms of the general law (Marriage Act Chapter 5:11) divorce is granted at the High Court.
  6. If you have children, the divorce court will deal with issues of custody, access and maintenance of the children.
  7. All issues to do with the children are determined on the basis of the best interest of the children and not the parties to the marriage.
  8. Maintenance is determined on the basis of the means of the parties.
  9. If you have property (Houses, cars, furniture, etc), the court will equitably share property between the spouses.
  10. Distribution of assets of the spouses is based, amoung other things on the length of the marriage and the parties’ direct and indirect contribution to the acquisition of the property.
  11. A person who wishes to divorce must give valid reasons for the breakdown of the marriage such as adultery, cruelty, violence, desertion, and denial of conjugal rights.
  12. Divorce can be granted by the consent or agreement of the parties or after contestation at trial.


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