A divorce decree is a document that details the proceedings of your previous marriage, and these documents are stamped and signed by the High Court or the court where the decree was issued. There seems to be a lot of false rumours spread on the internet that lead people to believe that a copy of a divorce decree can be downloaded from the Department of Home Affairs, but this is unfortunately not possible. Divorce decrees for South Africa are NOT available online. Divorce decrees have to be obtained from the court where the divorce was finalised, which can be a tedious process.
Why are divorce decrees not available online?
Most jurisdictions limit access to public records and may prohibit you from viewing the decree unless you are a party to the case or a legal representative of one of the parties. This is why these documents are not available online.
The civil court, where your divorce was filed, is where copies of divorce decrees are stored in electronic and hardcopy format. In order to obtain a copy of this certificate, you will need to have the case number of your divorce on hand. You will also have to provide us with a signed affidavit, granting us permission to view or copy the document, in order for us to obtain it on your behalf.
How can I obtain a copy of my divorce decree?
The process of obtaining a copy of your South African divorce decree isn’t lengthy, but it is difficult, and that is why it is always best to work with professional documentation service providers, like Apostil, to help take the hassle out of the process.
In order for us to help you obtain your decree of divorce, you would need to provide us with the following information:
• Divorce case number
• Court where the divorce was finalised (mandatory – information required)
• Date (day, month, and year) of the divorce
• Names and ID numbers of the plaintiff and defendant (you and your ex-spouse)
With less information, we may be able to assist – read here about fuller information on divorce decrees in South Africa.
Not always guaranteed
It is not always certain that with a case number and court name, that we or anyone can obtain your divorce decree file. Sometimes, the files have been moved to other storage facilities, which means it may take months to retrieve. Even worse, there have been cases where the file is found to be empty. In such cases, the only hope of getting a divorce decree copy is from the law firm that assisted you in court, if there was one.
What does it cost to obtain a copy of a divorce decree in South Africa
Depending on how urgently you need to obtain a copy of your divorce decree, together with how much information about the divorce you have, costs and service timings can vary greatly.
Please contact us or head over to our pricing page to get an estimated idea of the costs involved.