Every year, thousands of couples’ and families’ lives are affected by divorce in South Africa. In fact, The Justice Department’s 2012-2013 annual report has shown just how prevalent divorce is becoming in our country, with a 28% percent increase that year alone. Kruger & Pottinger Attorneys are here to look after you and your family when you need it most.
What is divorce?
A divorce is the legal termination of a marriage, leading to the cancellation and reorganisation of legal duties and responsibilities of the parties involved. Civil marriages, civil unions and religious marriages conducted by registered marriage officers, can only be dissolved by the order of the Court.
What are valid grounds for divorce?
- Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage or civil union
- Mental illness of a party to the marriage
- Continuous unconsciousness of a party to the marriage
What does “Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage or civil union” actually mean?
This occurs when either or both spouses are no longer willing or able to live with each other, resulting in the destruction of their husband-and-wife relationship, as well as any hope of the resumption of respective spousal duties.
By this point, the breakdown of the marriage must, for whatever reasons, already have reached such a state of disintegration that there is no longer any reasonable prospect of the restoration of a normal marriage relationship between the two parties.
What are the main grounds for an “irretrievable breakdown” of one’s marriage?
- Adultery, extramarital sex, infidelity
- Not living together for a substantial period of time
- Domestic violence
- Complete lack of communication
- Addictions (alcoholism / drug addiction / gambling)
What aspects may form part of the divorce process?
- Spousal support
- Maintenance, pending the divorce
- Children – Interim care or contact
- Child custody, access and support
- Parental rights
- Primary residence
- Parenting plan
- Matrimonial assets (according to marital regime)
– In communion of property
– Out of community of property (without the accrual)
– Out of community of property (with the accrual)
- Division of debt