What can you do If you wish to initiate divorce proceedings against your spouse when they reside outside of South Africa, and you are still living within the country? Normally, you would be required to file an application for an edictal citation. According to Rule 5(1) of the Uniform Rules of Court and Rule 10(1)(a) of the Magistrate's Court Rules, no document by which proceedings are initiated may be served outside of the country, except in cases where the court has granted you leave from this rule. An edictal citation is one such document that grants an individual this relief, enabling them to serve a divorce summons on their spouse outside of South Africa.


At Cawood Attorneys, we have explored every legal avenue in order to speed up international divorces for our clients. We have an innovative strategy for the entire process that could help you finalise your divorce in a shorter amount of time and at a fraction of the cost. Our unique approach eliminates a lot of the time-consuming aspects of filing for an edictal citation so that we can help you finalise your divorce as quickly as possible 


If you were to file an application for edictal citation it would have to be clear to the court that you have exhausted all your options in serving a summons to your spouse, and that no agreement can be made between the two parties. The court has to be satisfied that the service of a summons in another country is the only way to effectively initiate divorce proceedings. The court also requires that the service of the summons be done by an individual or entity that performs a role similar to that of a sheriff in South Africa. 


If the whereabouts of your spouse is known, divorce documents will be served to them personally, either at their home or at their workplace. If their whereabouts are unknown, you will first have to prove that you have made a concerted effort to locate them and that all of your attempts were unsuccessful. If the court is satisfied that the individual is untraceable, it might grant an order that a notice of the divorce summons may be published in a newspaper in the country where they are believed to reside. 


Because of the high price you pay in time and money for divorce by way of edictal citation, we have found unique methods to do international divorces thanks to lateral thinking, at a fraction of the cost of edictal citation. The world has become a smaller place with our clients scattered all over the globe, and we have realised that there is a real need to do international divorces in South Africa by thinking out of the box instead of following tedious and outdated processes that do not keep up with the changing environment. 


Give yourself the best chance for success by trusting qualified attorneys with your international divorce. At Cawood Attorneys, we have successfully assisted various clients with their divorces where either of the parties resides outside of South Africa. Visit our website and fill out our contact form for a free telephonic consultation with one of our dedicated attorneys.


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