When people are thinking about separating from their Spouse, most people are unsure of what type of Divorce they need to have.
A Divorce action may be opposed or unopposed.
An opposed Divorce is proceedings which are acrimonious and are defended by the respective Spouse as they may have a claim of their own; i.e. even if they agree to the divorce they might disagree with the division of assets, or maybe contend the parenting plan, etc. This is where the Parties will state and prove both their respective claims to the Court and the Judge or Magistrate (if you are in Regional Court) will weigh up the evidence and make a ruling, based on a balance of probabilities.
This is a lengthy process and may continue over a period of in excess of a year or maybe even two. This therefore becomes a very costly situation.
An unopposed Divorce is not as complicated; there are two procedures which may happen. Firstly unlikely (but not impossible) procedure is that you serve your Summons upon your Spouse and the Defendant (your Spouse) fails to enter a defence). You will then proceed with an unopposed date due to your Spouse being in default. (in other terms this will also be known as a default Judgement). The second more commonly used process is an unopposed Divorce by way of a Settlement Agreement.
A lot of cases which we are receiving, people understand that they are wanting to get divorced however fail to understand the variable and invariable consequences which occur in both a marriage and a Divorce. This is a subject by itself which is explained in the consultation.
A Settlement agreement is a binding agreement in writing wherein you and your Spouse deal with all the issues pertaining to your marriage and the dissolution thereof. This will include your Children’s Primary Residence, Contact, maintenance as well as the Proprietary aspects of the Divorce.
PROCEDURE OF AN UNOPPOSED DIVORCE:
-  How Martin Vermaak Attorneys deal with Unopposed Divorces is simple:
This matter will take approximately 5 – 15 minutes[MS1] of your time, however, due to the amount of cases in the Court and the long lists of the amount of cases per Court, you might have to wait up to lunch before being heard; on rare occasions it might be only heard after 14h00.
In these cases, the Attorney will call you to the Witness stand whereby you will then take the prescribed Oath:
Court will ask you these questions –
-  State your full names for the record
Once you have been sworn in, your Attorney will then proceed with the Examination in Chief (this is the line of questioning which you will be asked) and is generally the following:
The Attorney will then beg leave to have the Settlement Agreement made an Order of Court and the Parties marriage dissolved.
Please note that the questions are guidelines and the Judge/Magistrate is subject to ask their own questions.
When you have finished, and the Judge/Magistrate has confirmed a Decree of Divorce you will then be excused.
Our Offices will send our Messenger approximately 10 to 15 Court days to collect your Decree of Divorce as the Courts have a procedure before you can get the Order.