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

The “Apostille” of the final divorce order

Once you get divorced in court, it is the duty of the attorney to order the final divorce order. Either the attorney can type out the final divorce order and get the court to stamp it, or request the court to type out the final order themselves.

The final divorce order is an important legal document for so many reasons. I get countless emails from people who tell me they have been divorced for about ten years and do not have their final order, and ask me if I can uplift it for them at court. Some of these people had attorneys at the time of the divorce and some did not.

The reality of the matter is that only if I have a case number and date of divorce and the full name of the parties, then can I attempt to uplift the order at court. If an attorney represented you, the logical thing would be to contact that attorney to look for the divorce order which may be in his archives if the divorce was a long time ago. The typed divorce order is just so important to keep in a safe place, as is any other legal document, such as a Will or Antenuptial Contract.

Now what if a client wants to use the divorce order overseas? I often have clients who are no longer living in South Africa, but in another country, and who need to produce a valid divorce order in that country for some or other reason. It may for example be if they are wanting to remarry and need to show the divorce order to the marriage officer.

Certain countries only accept a South African divorce order if it has a High Court stamp of “Apostille in terms of the “Convention de La Haye du 5 October 1961”. On receipt of the divorce order, the attorney would take the divorce order to the area at the High Court which deals with the Apostille of the Divorce Order. The registrar of the court would have to type out and stamp and sign the form, and would annex that with a ribbon to the final divorce order.

On this form, otherwise known as the “Apostille”, it would state the country of divorce i.e. Republic of South Africa. It would also state who the official of the court was who signed the divorce order and in what capacity he was acting. You can get divorced in the High Court or the divorce court. The officials change often who type the divorce orders.

Until recently one Lorenzo De Vos was typing the orders at the divorce court in Cape Town. The “Apostille” would therefore state for example that “This public document has been signed by Lorenzo De Vos, acting in the capacity of senior administrative clerk”.

The Apostille would also state in which court the divorce order was made eg. “bears the stamp of Southern Divorce Court, Cape Town, certified at Western Cape on 3 August 2010”. The full names of the Registrar and case number would also appear on the Apostille.

It is so important for attorneys to advise clients who are going overseas correctly in respect of the “Apostille” of the divorce order. It really does not take long to have this done at the High Court, and usually the Registrar would do it straight away. The last thing a client needs is to be overseas with a divorce order which is not accepted by that country.

Further reading

Varying or rescinding a divorce order


married overseas annulmentreasons for divorce