International Divorce South Africa

Our international divorce lawyers in South Africa can assist with divorce matters where either, or both, of the parties are outside the borders of the Republic.

In these kinds of divorce matters, we assist our clients to approach the Court to get permission, in the form of a Court Order, to deliver a Divorce Summons to someone who is outside of South Africa. This can be done with or without the consent of that person. If no consent is given, however, we must provide the Court with good reasons why we seek permission to serve outside of South Africa.

The Application to Court to seek permission is called an Application for Edictal Citation. In some instances, it is also necessary to seek permission to serve a Divorce Summons by means of e-mail, fax, or other digital means; in these cases the Application for Edictal Citation will be accompanied by a request that the Court authorise Substituted Service (ie an Order whereby the Divorce Summons can be served digitally)

Our international divorce lawyers will guide you through every step required to pursue your divorce matter, regardless of where in the world your spouse might be.

In international divorce matters, we prepare an affidavit in support of your request that the Divorce Summons be delivered outside of South Africa. Once you have signed the affidavit, we lodge it at Court. The Court provides us with a hearing date as soon as the affidavit has been lodged at Court. We appear at Court on your behalf on the hearing date and address the Court on the reasons why Divorce Summons must be served outside of South Africa. Once the Court has considered the reasons for service outside of South Africa, it issues a Court Order empowering us to serve the Divorce Summons internationally. The Divorce Summons is can be served in several ways, including through the embassy or consulate, by the international equivalent of the Sheriff of the Court, or by electronic means just to name a few.

International Divorce South Africa

Do I need to go to Court personally to have international service of the divorce summons approved?
No. You merely have to sign an affidavit which we prepare. Our representatives take care of everything, including the appearance at court.
Can I serve summons internationally in contested divorces?
Yes you can, but the Court must first make an order that the Summons be served by Edictal Citation.
What if I do not know where my spouse is?
It is possible to serve by means of substituted service. In these cases, the summons can be served by digital means such as e-mail or social media. We have even assisted one client to serve summons by means of WhatsApp!
Can I get divorced in South Africa if I live outside of South Africa?
In some instances, you can. The biggest consideration is whether you consider South Africa your country of domicile –i.e. do you intend to return to South Africa once your international travels / temporary residence outside of South Africa has come to an end? Do you consider South Africa to be your home? If so, you can proceed with a divorce in the South African Courts.

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