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Section 4 of the Divorce Act
Irretrievable break-down of marriage as ground of divorce.—(1)  A court may grant a decree of divorce on the ground of the irretrievable break-down of a marriage if it is satisfied that the marriage relationship between the parties to the marriage has reached such a state of disintegration that there is no reasonable prospect of the restoration of a normal marriage relationship between them.
(2)  Subject to the provisions of subsection (1), and without excluding any facts or circumstances which may be indicative of the irretrievable break-down of a marriage, the court may accept evidence—
that the parties have not lived 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 that the plaintiff finds it irreconcilable with a continued marriage relationship; or
that the defendant has in terms of a sentence of a court been declared an habitual criminal and is undergoing imprisonment as a result of such sentence,
as proof of the irretrievable break-down of a marriage.
(3)  If it appears to the court that there is a reasonable possibility that the parties may become reconciled through marriage counsel, treatment or reflection, the court may postpone the proceedings in order that the parties may attempt a reconciliation.
(4)  Where a divorce action which is not defended is postponed in terms of subsection (3), the court may direct that the action be tried de novo, on the date of resumption thereof, by any other judge of the court concerned.

About the Author

Mervyn Vermeulen
Mervyn Vermeulen

Mervyn Vermeulen is the founder and director of Vermeulen Attorneys. He specializes in Family Law, Labour Law, and Litigation.

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