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How long does the divorce process take?
03 April 2019  | Tumi Mokobe
The above stated question is one most attorneys have to answer before a client can give instructions to institute divorce proceedings. The answer to this question is quite simple; depending on whether the divorce is contested or not, each divorce proceeding is dealt with based on its own merits and has no specific time frame.

Firstly, the difference between an opposed/contested and unopposed/non-contested divorce has to be explained. The former is a divorce in which the Defendant wishes to defend certain prayers contained in the particulars of claim attached to the Summons. This procedure usually takes months, or in most cases even years of court litigation as parties do not agree on certain terms contained in the initial divorce summons, for instance spousal maintenance, child custody, certain movable/immovable property, etc. This is a costly and more time consuming process, compared to a non-contested/unopposed divorce. In contrast, an unopposed/non-contested divorce is more cost-effective and time efficient. This procedure entails the Defendant not defending the divorce on any basis, or where a default judgement was granted by the court based on the Defendant not responding within 10 days after receipt of the Summons. An unopposed/non-contested divorce may also be in a form of a Deed of Settlement signed by both parties. A deed of settlement is a document which contains all the factors upon which the parties agree upon and settling the matter as is. This document is then taken to court on the set down date and is made an order of the court by the Presiding officer.

Therefore, in light of the above mentioned, there is no specific time frame when it comes to the process of a divorce being finalised.

Reference List:
Family Law
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Tags: Divorce