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It is very important to ensure that the Court that you want to approach is the correct Court.
If you are uncertain then it is suggested that you approach your nearest Court and make certain that you start your divorce proceedings in the correct Court

Jurisdiction


After you have completed the clauses relating to the particulars of the Plaintiff and the Defendant, you must complete the third clause, relating to the court’s jurisdiction (or ‘authority’ to hear this specific matter).

In this clause it will have to be established if the Court has jurisdiction to hear the matter. A court has jurisdiction in a divorce action if you, your spouse or both of you are:

  • domiciled in the area of jurisdiction of the Dourt on the date on which the action is instituted (meaning the place you consider your permanent home is located inside the area of jurisdiction of the Court); or
  • ordinarily resident in the area of jurisdiction of the court on the date the action is instituted and has / have been ordinarily resident in South Africa for a period of not less than one year immediately prior to that date

The clause relating to jurisdiction will look similar to this:

” The above mentioned Honourable Court has jurisdiction in this matter as {both parties/ the Plaintiff/ the Defendant} {is/ are} ordinarily resident in the jurisdiction area of the court and {has /have} been ordinarily resident in the Republic of South Africa for not less than a year at the time of the institution of these proceedings as stipulated in section 2(1) of the Divorce Act, act 70 of 1979.”

Alternatively,

“The above mentioned Honourable Court has jurisdiction in this matter as {both parties/ the Plaintiff/ the Defendant} {is/ are} domiciled within the jurisdiction area of the court as stipulated in terms of section 2(1) of the Divorce Act, act 70 of 1979.”

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