- Divorce is the permanent ending of a marriage.
- It only applies to legally recognised marriages.
- The procedure for divorce depends on the type of marriage the parties had.
Separation is a situation where a husband and wife stay away from each other for a given period either because they have agreed or this is known as a separation by agreement or because the court has ordered the separation known as judicial separation.
This divorce applies to those who entered into civil and church marriage.
Before a couple can apply for divorce, they should have been married for at least three years except in situations which are so grave that the couple cannot continue to live together.
The application for divorce is made in the high court.
The court will not grant the divorce if:
The court first gives a separation order for a period of 6 months (decree nisi). This is a cooling period intended to give the couple a chance to redeem the marriage or determine that they have completely lost interest in the marriage
If the parties have failed to redeem the marriage, the court makes a final order (decree absolute). This permanently ends the marriage.
A couple married under the customary law may apply the customary law of their community to end the marriage.
There are no set rules and guidelines on how this divorce should be undertaken.
The divorce is done according to the customary practices from which the couple hails.