South Africa Law
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Good day. This is an info request to assist you better. Please continue on this thread.
How are you married? In community of property? Out of community of property?
1. There is no one process whereby you can regulate a legal separation. With regards to the common estate and the children, it is rather two separate issues. Things will be made a lot easier if you can agree beforehand under which circumstances the separation will take place.
2. In order to facilitate the estate, you will have to go to the High Court to ask that your marriage property regime must be changed. The effect of this would be that you are still married, but that you will no longer be married in community of property. So it is like divorce, but only of the common estate. How the estate is to be divided can be agreed between the two of you and be made an order of court, however, it would only be valid between the two of you and not against third parties. The effect of this is that debt of the common estate before the date of the divorce, can be collected by the third party (whom the debt is owed to) from either of you and then you will have to settle whatever, for instance, you paid too much, between the two of you.
3. With regards to the children, you should approach the Family Advocate to have a parental plan drafted and registered, which would deal with the custody, access and maintenance issues. This is a separate process.