What is a divorce application on a normal track
Parties may proceed to file a divorce application on a normal track if they have not been able to agree on any of the following:
- The marriage has irretrievably broken down.
- All ancillary matters such as children's care arrangements (if applicable), maintenance and the division of matrimonial assets.
A divorce application on a normal track has 2 stages as follows:
- The first stage deals with the divorce.
- The second stage deals with the ancillary matters.
Watch the video to find out more about the process.
A divorce application on a normal track may take 12 to 18 months to conclude, is much more expensive compared to a divorce application on a simplified track and comes at great personal cost to everyone involved.
It is therefore best for parties (and their children) if they can agree on how to move forward with a divorce.
File a divorce application (normal track) step-by-step
This is the process of filing for a divorce application on a normal track.
If you are filing the divorce application, you are the plaintiff.
Your spouse is the defendant. Refer to Respond to a divorce application (normal track) instead if you have been served with a set of divorce papers.
Understand the requirements for divorce
Find out if you are eligible to file for divorce in the Family Courts, the facts you can rely on in support of your divorce and the ancillary matters relating to the divorce you have to consider.
File and serve documents
Divorce proceedings start when you file and serve the necessary divorce papers on the defendant. After the defendant has responded, you will have to set down the case for hearing.
Set down the case
You must inform the court that your divorce case is ready to be heard by filing a request for a hearing. This is known as setting down.
At a divorce hearing
Depending on how the defendant responds to the divorce papers, the court will schedule a contested or uncontested divorce hearing. If the court grants the divorce at the hearing, you will then extract the Interim Judgment.
Attend mediation and counselling, if required
The court will direct you and the defendant to attend mediation and counselling at the Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) Division if you have any child under the age of 21.
Attend an ancillary matters case conference
The second stage of your divorce case takes place when the court schedules a case conference for the ancillary matters that you and the defendant cannot agree upon.
At an ancillary matters hearing
Once all the necessary docs are filed, the case will proceed for an ancillary matters hearing.
File an appeal, if needed
If you are not satisfied with the orders made by the court during the ancillary matters hearing, you may file an appeal to the Family Division of the High Court within 14 days of the date of the order.
You do not need a lawyer to represent you in a divorce case. However, you may choose to engage one if you need independent legal advice on the merits of your case.
The courts are not able to provide legal advice or recommend lawyers. Find out where to get help.