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Self-Help Guide to Obtaining a Decree of Divorce


This guide is designed to assist you in obtaining a decree of divorce in a Regional Court in South Africa. It gives general information only and doesn’t take the place of legal advice. Obviously, it also cannot provide specific advice about your divorce only a lawyer can do that (and help you to protect all of your rights).

Use of this guide for self-help should be limited to uncontested divorces where there are no contentious or complicated issues regarding the children, division of the property (or debts), maintenance or pension. In any case where a divorce is or becomes contested or any complications arise (particularly with regard to any of the above), it may be best to have a lawyer represent you in your divorce. Where this guide goes beyond the scope of the uncontested, simple and uncontentious divorce, it is merely to provide you with information and understanding as to the general process and what steps your attorney is likely to take and should not be used to attempt to do these things without legal assistance – much like you would not operate on your own body from a book but might want to understand what is going to happen.

In this guide, the main text is displayed in this column. You will notice that there are also columns labeled “Tips” and “Step-by-step”; the tips are typically very useful from a practical perspective, and the step-by-step gives you guidance as to the process to follow in bullet-list style.

At the top and bottom of the page you will find navigation buttons. Typically, there will be ‘Home’, ‘Navigation Flowchart’, ‘Back’ and ‘Forward’ buttons. In some cases, where your input as needed, two other buttons will appear at the bottom of the page – one with a tick for ‘yes’, and one with a cross for ‘no’.

The ‘Home’ button returns you to this page. The ‘Forward’ and ‘Back’ buttons move you through the site, and the ‘Navigation Flowchart’ button takes you to a flowchart that not only gives you an overview of the process, but also acts as a sitemap for this site. It indicates where you are in the process and allows you to jump to specific sections by clicking on them.

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