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What is the estimated time frame for a divorce matter to be finalized?
01 February 2021  | Puleng Valentine Tladi



The time frame for a divorce matter to be finalized will depend on various factors, such as whether the divorce is an unopposed or opposed matter, the rules and procedures to be followed, the rules of each Court, whether or not there are minor children, the type of marriage regime,and  the wishes of the parties regarding the division of the estate.



2.1.1   What happens an unopposed or uncontested divorce matter

An unopposed/uncontested divorce is where the parties conclude an agreement by signing a deed of settlement and/or when the defendant fails to enter an appearance to defend.


2.1.2   What is an estimated time frame:

If the Defendant fails to enter his appearance to Defend and /or where the parties have reached an agreement, this will usually take between four to twelve months before the matter is finalized and will usually depend on various factors such as: the type of marriage regime the parties have entered into, whether or not there are minor children born of the marriage, whether or not the parties have entered into a deed of settlement, the period between the date of service and  and the date that is available from Court in order for the matter to be heard.


2.2.1 If the Defendant chooses to Defend the matter by entering his or her notice of             appearance to defend:

He/she must file a Notice of Intention to Defend within 10 (ten) working days from date of receipt of the Summons. Deliver a Plea and/or Counterclaim which is a reply to the Plaintiff’s Particulars of Claim, within 20 (twenty) days from date of serving his or her Notice of Intention to Defend. The Defendant will be given an extra Five days where a Notice of Bar is  served upon him or her. Thereafter the Plaintiff will have 15 (fifteen) days to serve his or her Replication (reply to Defendant’s Plea and Counterclaim). Plaintiff or Defendant may serve a Rule 23(1),(6),(7),(9) and (11) notice twenty days prior to the date of trial and five days to serve their Discovery affidavit after being served with a Discovery affidavit from the party that issued them with a notice in terms of rule 23. Then a pre-trial conference will be held and a trial date set.

This will usually be finalized within two to five years or even more.

Kindly take note that this is only an estimation and not the exact time frame that a divorce matter can be finalized as there are a lot of factors taken into consideration before a divorce matter may be finalized, such as the type of marriage regime, whether or not there are children born of the marriage, the value of the estate, the facts of the case, the circumstances of the parties, any other issue which may arise during trial.



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Tags: Divorce