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WCLawyer, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 15603
Experience:  L.LB (UOVS)
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How do I go about getting a legal separation in South Afri

Customer Question

How do I go about getting a legal separation in South Africa?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: South Africa Law
Expert:  WCLawyer replied 6 years ago.

Good day.

This is an info request to assist you better. Please continue on this thread.


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Not divorce, just a temporary legal separation
Expert:  WCLawyer replied 6 years ago.
Just for my clarification: What do you understand under legal separation?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
A court order that outlines the rights and responsibilities of each spouse while they are living apart. We remain legally married while choosing to live separate lives. We would agree on division of assets and debts, child support, visitation schedules and spousal support etc.
Expert:  WCLawyer replied 6 years ago.

How are you married? In community of property? Out of community of property?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
In community of property
Expert:  WCLawyer replied 6 years ago.

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.