What are your options if your significant other refuses to sign the Settlement Agreement?
When Settlement goes out the window
It is an unfortunate fact that not all divorces are capable of settlement. This may be due to a number of factors such as acrimony between the parties, differing expectations, or even the desire to try to restore the marriage relationship.
In most cases it is important for the process to continue despite the apparent lack of settlement. Here are some of the options available to you if your spouse refuses to sign the Settlement Agreement. This list is not exhaustive and only outlines some of the available options.
Option 1 - Proceed with Summons
Proceeding with Summons will commence the litigation process, and will usually lead to a contested divorce.
Option 2 - Negotiation
It may well be the case that your spouse intends to submit a reasonable and bona fide counter-offer. In these cases, it might be worthwhile to consider entering into a negotiation phase wherein both parties will have the opportunity to ventilate their respective wishes and concessions.
Option 3 - Mediation
The current focus in South Africa on alternative dispute resolution has given rise to a number of excellent divorce mediators. These mediators assist the parties to put their differences aside in an attempt to reach settlement.