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Divorce & Family Law

Divorce & Family Law

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International Divorce Law

If spouses were married in another country, but now both live in South Africa, or the spouse wanting to get a divorce lives here, the South African courts can come to their aid.

The South African Divorce Act allows action to be instituted in the area in which either spouse is domiciled/ordinarily resident. This is different to other civil claims where you have to follow the area in which the Defendant lives.

Consquently, if the spouse wanting to get a divorce lives in South Africa, but the other spouse lives overseas, you may still approach a court in South Africa to get a divorce. The court will assist with the divorce, but will apply the English law in terms of the patrimonial (movable and immovable property) consequences. However, if there are child/ren involved, the courts will apply the South African law.

Bailey Haynes Inc. - Divorce Lawyers in Cape Town

Contact our Divorce Lawyers in Cape Town, for expert legal guidance and advice needed to navigate any procedure concerning separation, divorce or interntional divorce law.

International Divorce Law

Enforcing a South African divorce decree in another country depends on that country's recognition of foreign divorces and any relevant international agreements. Enforcement may require a separate legal process in the other country.

Yes, you can get a divorce in South Africa even if you were married in another country, provided that either you or your spouse is a South African resident or domiciled in South Africa at the time of filing for divorce.

It depends on the country where you were married. Some countries require notification for the divorce to be recognised, while others automatically recognise foreign divorces. It’s advisable to consult with a legal professional familiar with the laws of the country where you were married.

Assets located abroad are subject to the divorce settlement agreed upon or ordered by the South African courts. However, enforcing the division of these assets may require legal action in the country where the assets are located, subject to its laws.

International divorce proceedings in South Africa follow the standard divorce process, with additional considerations for the jurisdictional connection to South Africa, the applicability of foreign laws, and potential international treaties affecting the divorce.

Spousal support in international divorces is determined by South African law if the divorce is processed there, but consideration may be given to the living standards and laws of the country where the couple lived during their marriage.

Child custody in international divorces is determined based on the best interests of the child, similar to domestic divorces. International aspects, such as the child’s habitual residence and the laws of the country of the child's nationality, may also be considered.

For an international divorce in South Africa, you'll need your marriage certificate, any prenuptial agreements, proof of residency or domicile in South Africa, financial disclosures, and any documents related to assets or custody arrangements. If documents are not in English, certified translations might be required.

If you are filing for divorce in South Africa and both you and your spouse agree to the South African jurisdiction, you typically will not need to travel to the country where you were married. However, specific circumstances, such as legal requirements in the country of marriage, may necessitate travel.

South Africa recognises foreign marriages under the principle of lex loci celebrationis, which means the law of the place where the marriage was celebrated. However, the marriage must comply with South African laws regarding marriages for it to be considered valid.

 

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