Divorce – There is no reason why your divorce should not be friendly and uncontested.

Uncontested divorces – Notice of Set Down for undefended and uncontested divorce matters – The document used to place your divorce on the divorce court roll

Undefended, unopposed or uncontested divorce cases are what all divorcing couples should strive towards. If the marriage broke down completely and there is no possibility of saving it, then why fight any longer? If both parties act fairly, there is no need to spend thousands of Rands on legal fees. That money can be used on starting a new life. If there are minor children involved, then the money saved in avoiding litigation can be used on them. At the end of the day, no one really benefits from a long drawn out or protracted contested divorce process.

What is the simplest divorce?

The simplest divorce is when the parties are married out of community of property and profit and loss, with the exclusion of the accrual regime. What this means, it that whatever property a spouse owns during the marriage, still belongs to him or her after the marriage. There is also no need to pay the other spouse any amount after the divorce as an accrual. The simplest divorce would also require there to be no minor children born from the marriage. In other words, all the children are adults or there were none. Lastly, neither party claims personal maintenance or alimony from the other spouse.

If the above scenario applies, then all that the divorce court would have to do is ascertain whether or not the marriage has irretrievably broken down, and grant a decree of divorce. There is no issue regarding child maintenance, custody issues, or proprietary rights. It’s a simple divorce and easily finalised.

What do couples usually fight over in the divorce process?

As can be seen from the above, if a couple has children, things may turn out to be complicated. The parents may dispute who should have primary care or custody over the minor children. Then there is the issue of child maintenance, and the amount thereof. This latter issue is usually a stumbling block when it comes to the finalisation of a divorce. Some parents are unreasonable in their request, and others again don’t want to pay or contribute what is fair and reasonable.

The matrimonial property regime

If the parties are married in community of property, there should be an equal division of the joint estate. However, parties still find a way to argue on this aspect which makes the divorce a contested one. The same applies should the spouse be married out of community of property with the inclusion of the accrual regime. Most of the time, the divorce gets settled just days before the divorce date, after both parties spent thousands of Rands on legal fees.

The notice of set down in divorce matters

After the divorce, summons has been issued and served, and the divorce is uncontested, a notice of set down must be filed at the divorce court. Usually, it’s 10 days after the divorce summons was served on the other party. Basically, the notice of set down advises the court and the other party that the divorce is going to be heard on a certain date. Once the notice of set down is filed, the divorce matter would be placed on the court roll for the divorce to be finalised.

What happens on the unopposed divorce court date?

Once the notice of set down has been filed and the divorce date has arrived, one of the parties, usually the plaintiff would have to appear at court to give evidence. Basically, he or she needs to confirm that the marriage has broken down, the court has jurisdiction and that all aspects have been resolved. This is usually done with a consent paper. If the parties were married out of community of property without the accrual regime and there are no minor children, then there is no need for any other documents to be filed.

What happens after the divorce has been granted?

Once the divorce has been granted, the parties can move on with their lives. They may remarry incur debt in their own name and so on. A few days after the divorce, and depending on the specific court, the parties would be able to collect a document called a final decree of divorce. This document would confirm to the world that they are divorced.

Free Online Divorce Form and Guide

If you want to attend to your own uncontested divorce, we can to help you kick start it at no charge. Fill in the form below, and then our system will send you an email with the details you provided, which you should include in the divorce documents.

Have a family Law appointment with us

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Case no.:

(Identity Number: 0000000000000)


(Identity Number: 1111111111111




KINDLY BE ADVISED that Plaintiff hereby sets the above matter down for hearing for 2015 at 10:00 or so soon thereafter.
Kindly enrol the matter accordingly.
DATED AT SIGNED AT CAPE TOWN THIS___DAY OF __________________2017.


(Plaintiff in Person)
4 Green Street,


1 Apple Street,
Apple Town,



About the Author

Advocate South Africa

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Call 0211110090
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6 thoughts on “Divorce – There is no reason why your divorce should not be friendly and uncontested.

  1. Hi I urgently need a divorce settlement agreement. Where can I get a template to use? I want to apply for a bridging loan

  2. Good day, I am the plaintiff, and receive a set down date, does that means it’s the divorce date? And can my husband still contest on that day?

  3. I received my divorce summonds on 15/01/2018.It was placed on hold from March2018 till June 2018.Only for my wife to now continue.What is the time a divorce summonds can lay open before lapsing.

    1. Good day, if the divorce summons was properly serviced, and you filed a Notice of Defence, then you need to Plea. The rules in the High Court and Magistrates Court differs. It may be best to contact them should the facts be different.

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