How to find a divorce lawyer in Cape Town, South Africa

Mitchells Plain vs Cape Town
Southern Divorce Courts

Practising as an attorney is the Western Cape involves dealing with a great many cases involving people who stay within the jurisdiction of the Mitchells Plain Southern Divorce Court. The Mitchells Plain area is massive, consisting of areas such as Lentegeur, Westridge, Rocklands, Strandfontein and many more areas.

There are actually two different Sheriffs of the court in the Mitchells Plain area – the “Mitchells Plain North” sheriff and the sheriff for “Mitchells Plain South”. Whenever a client consults me to serve a summons on somebody who resides in the Mitchells Plain area, I first need to phone one of the sheriffs to find out if I must send the summons to the Mitchells Plain North or South sheriff. It can lead to quite a delay in the whole matter if you have sent the summons to the wrong sheriff. It then gets posted back to you and you have to send it to the correct sheriff.

In the past us attorneys could choose if a matter was uncontested whether we wanted the divorce to be heard at the Cape Town or Mitchells Plain Court. A new rule has now been made that if a client resides within the jurisdiction of the Mitchells Plain Court then that case must be heard in Mitchells Plain. If a client resides within the jurisdiction of the Cape Town court then that case will be heard in Cape Town. Cape Town itself covers a great deal of areas, such as Bellville, Cape Town CBD, Seapoint, Fish Hoek, Milnerton, Parow, Goodwood and many other areas.

The new ruling appears to help to spread and even out the case-load between the Mitchells Plain and Cape Town courts. It also favours the party who wants to divorce, for example it is easier for a person who lives in Lentegeur to travel to court in Mitchells Plain to get divorced than to Cape Town which is about forty minutes away. The Attorney who practises for example in Cape Town will now have to however travel to Mitchells Plain for a case as opposed to the divorce being heard a ten minute walk from his/her office in Cape Town.

A few days ago I was in Mitchells Plain for a few divorce cases – two postponements and three trials. The matters had to be heard at that court as the parties resided nearby to that court. All three of my trials were settled outside court. It really makes no difference to me whether I have to go to Cape Town or Mitchells Plain, as both are more or less the same distance from where I live.

I was very impressed with the new building and the brand new divorce courts in Mitchells Plain. Everything just looks so impressive. In the past the divorces in Mitchells Plain were all in the “Kentucky Building” close to the new building. That area was very over crowded. The new divorce court is actually an extension of the Mitchells Plain Magistrates Court.

The Cape Town and Mitchells Plain court are really not in competition. The same magistrates you will find sometimes in the one court and sometimes in the other. You have to however go to Cape Town to uplift the Final Order of Divorce. They don't type it in Mitchells Plain. I enjoy both courts equally. The corridor leading to the Magistrate's office at the Mitchells Plain Court has the most beautiful view of the coastline and the sea.


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