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Are you ready to file for divorce? Here is what you need to know

There are two categories of divorces namely contested and uncontested divorces. A divorce will proceed uncontested when the parties decide to end the marriage amicably by entering into a settlement agreement, alternatively when the Defendant gets served with the summons and decides not to defend the action (fight the divorce). In these cases, only one attorney is required, and the cost of the action is therefore much more cost effective.

There are two categories of divorces namely contested and uncontested divorces.

A divorce will proceed uncontested when the parties decide to end the marriage amicably by entering into a settlement agreement, alternatively when the Defendant gets served with the summons and decides not to defend the action (fight the divorce). In these cases, only one attorney is required, and the cost of the action is therefore much more cost effective. The process will also be finalised much quicker.

In the case where the divorce becomes contested both parties will need to instruct their own attorney. Contested divorces can lead to expensive and extended litigation. It is therefore advisable to rather try and settle the matter before summons is issued.

A marriage may be dissolved by a court by a decree of divorce. A decree of divorce will only be granted when the marriage has been broken down irretrievably or because of the mental illness or the continuous unconsciousness of a party.

The court will grant a decree of divorce on the ground of the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage if it is satisfied that the marriage relationship between the parties to the marriage has reached such a state of disintegration that that there is no reasonable prospect of the restoration of a normal marriage relationship between them.

The court may accept evidence that the parties have not been living together as husband and wife for a continuous period of at least one year immediately prior to the date of the institution of the divorce action; that the Defendant has committed adultery and the Plaintiff does not want to continue with the marriage relationship; or the Defendant has been declared a habitual criminal and is undergoing imprisonment by a court sentence as proof that the marriage has been broken down irretrievably.

The court may refuse to grant a decree of divorce where it appears in the proceedings that that despite the granting of a decree of divorce by the court, the spouses will by reason of the prescripts of their religion or the religion of either of them, not be free to re-marry unless the marriage is also dissolved in accordance with such prescripts or unless a barrier to the remarriage of the spouse concerned is removed.

The court will also not grant a decree of divorce until it is satisfied that the provisions contemplated with regard to the welfare of any minor or dependent child of the marriage are suitable or are the best that can be effected in the circumstances and in instances where an inquiry was instituted by the Family Advocate, it has considered the report and recommendations made.

A court ordering a decree of divorce may in accordance with a written agreement between the parties make an order with regard to the division of the assets of the parties or the payment of maintenance by the one party to the other.

We will be discussing the division of assets and maintenance of parties and minor children in separate blogs.

Divorce Law is just one of the fields that we pride ourselves in. For effective and reliable assistance, contact our office at one of our communication channels.

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