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Understanding the legal procedure on divorce published on 12 September 2018

Divorce by its very nature is not an easy process to undergo, aside from the fact that there are legal costs which need to be met for the procedure to be finalised, it is also an emotional burden for the parties involved.

Its consequences bear effect on the children, the finances and the proprietary rights of the people untying the knot.

For the process to be said to have commenced; the one starting the procedure, who is legally known as the plaintiff must give a summary of why they wish to divorce and how they wish the court should make a ruling in terms of actually granting the divorce itself, how the property must be shared and what happens to the children.

For this process to commence, the summons and declaration should be personally delivered by the Sheriff of the High court to the spouse whom they wish to divorce, legally known as the defendant.

The very fact that the Sheriff of the High Court has to personally deliver this document means that the precise location of the defendant must be given and known.

Personal service in itself is important in divorce matters because divorce entails a change of status from “married” to “divorced” on all legal documentation.

There are times where due to many different reasons, married couples go their separate ways without officially breaking their marriage through divorce.

After some time, one of the parties eventually decides to make the break legal but may not have communicated with their spouse in a long time and cannot locate their current home or work address.

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