A South African citizen that lives overseas and who has a spouse that resides in South Africa (Port Elizabeth/ Gqeberha) can in terms of the South African Divorce Act, legally commence divorce proceedings in South Africa.
The opposite is also possible, that is, a spouse in South Africa can also divorce his or her spouse who works or lives overseas in South Africa.
In order to divorce your spouse who lives overseas you will first be required to bring an application before the divorce court in South Africa, this application is required to obtain an order for an international sheriff to serve the divorce summons internationally. This is generally a quick and easy application that does not delay the divorce proceedings, after the application is granted, a sheriff in an international jurisdiction can serve the divorce summons on your spouse that lives overseas. The normal divorce procedures then commences. Should the spouse who lives internally not defend the summons you will be able to obtain a divorce order by default.
On the other hand, if your spouse lives in South Africa, the process is easier and no special application to a court is needed. An attorney in South Africa can prepare and serve the summons in the normal way. If the divorce is opposed, the attorney can bring an application to lead your evidence through digital formats such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams, you will not be required to travel to South Africa.
But what if the parties are in agreement? This makes the procedure a lot more streamlined, an attorney in South Africa can draft a settlement agreement that can be signed internationally by one spouse and sent via e-mail back to the attorney in South Africa. The attorney can proceed with divorce proceedings in the usual uncontested divorce manner. This process can be so streamlined in the hands of an experienced divorce attorney that he or she should be able to finalise the divorce within six weeks.
To contact a Divorce Attorney who specialise in International Divorce cases in South Africa and who is able to finalise an uncontested international divorce in as little as 6 weeks, click the banner below.
Timothy van Rooyen Port Elizabeth Attorney, He has extensive knowledge in the industry, specialising in Divorce Law.