The most recent statistics on the divorce rate in South Africa were issued by StatsSA in 2021. According to these statistics, the number of divorces in the nation is declining. There were 23,710 divorces and 129,597 reported marriages in 2019. The divorce rate decreased by 6.2% from 2019 to 2020, continuing the downward trend that began in 2010.
What is divorce?
A divorce is a couple’s legal separation. If you were married in a civil ceremony, the Divorce Act will be used to dissolve your divorce. African customary law allows for the dissolution of marriages under either civil or customary law. This means that although certain restrictions might be in place, the Divorce Act will be used to dissolve the marriage.
Type of divorces
This reduces family members’ emotional stress and is the quickest and cheapest solution. In an uncontested divorce, the parties negotiate the terms of the divorce together. This covers maintenance, how their assets will be divided, how their children will be raised, and other crucial choices.Both spouses have the option of consulting with and appointing a neutral lawyer to represent their needs and create the formal settlement agreement, which is signed by both parties and then becomes a court order. The conclusion of an uncontested divorce may take only a few weeks.
Divorces that are mediated are more expensive, take longer, and put greater emotional strain on family members. In this kind of divorce, spouses who are unable to come to terms on a divorce settlement hire an attorney and/or a professional mediator to assist them in their negotiations.A fair settlement that will enable a couple to go on and create an amazing new future is what mediators assist couples focus on achieving. Mediators are neutral, trained experts competent in this process. Most of the time, the lawyer who offers legal counsel during mediation appoints the mediator.
The actual settlement agreement, which is signed by both spouses and then made a court order, can be drafted by their attorney or attorneys after the mediator successfully assists the couple in coming to an agreement. The expense of disputed divorce proceedings can be significantly decreased through mediation. Divorces that have been mediated frequently end after three months.
All family members may suffer significant emotional and financial harm during lengthy, contested divorces. When spouses are unable to agree on the terms of their divorce, a contested divorce occurs. The most frequent arguments are child custody, asset split, and maintenance. Sometimes a couple will decide against settling because of their emotional state. Both spouses frequently appear in court during a contentious divorce, and the judge determines the terms of the divorce. This may take three years or longer to resolve, incur very expensive legal fees, and cause great emotional harm.
The divorce rate increased during the pandemic
Our daily lives have been impacted by COVID-19 and the accompanying nationwide lockdown. even more so when it comes to relationships. Divorce rates are rising. According to the impression given by several media reports, marriages are disintegrating as a result of lockdowns, job losses, school closings, and the general unpredictability of 2020, which is continuing into 2021.
Many couples acknowledge that the pandemic has made them rethink their relationships, and many of them have decided to separate for a variety of reasons. Out of 154 nations, South Africa is in 83rd place for divorce rates. The statistics show that the majority of people in South Africa divorce for a variety of reasons, many of which are unrelated to the pandemic. The most common single explanation is “There is no love, respect, or affection between the parties.”
According to a study of the available data by the law firm DIY Legal, the number of divorce applications in South Africa has increased by 20% since level 4. There was an uptick in interest in starting divorce procedures during lockdown level 5, but since it was impossible, most people waited until they weren’t locked down to continue. As per DIY Legal, the primary reason for separations was when couples under lockdown realized they did not truly love one other. “As far as international patterns go, South Africa looks to be in step with the curve,” DIY Legal said.
The data released in 2019 by Statistics SA, four out of every ten marriages in the nation ended in divorce. It looked at information from 2017 to 2018, when there were 25 390 divorces. However, the number of civil unions recorded in 2018 suggested South Africans continued to value marriage. That year, 186 522 civil unions were registered, compared to 135 458 in 2017.
Although some couples are having difficulties, most husbands and wives say that their marriages were stronger in 2020. The American Family Survey (AFS), a new study of American families by Deseret News/Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy, found that 58% of married men and women between the ages of 18 and 55 said the pandemic has increased their appreciation for their spouse, while 51% of husbands and wives said their commitment to marriage has grown. In addition, the AFS discovered that from 40% in 2019 to 29% in 2020, the proportion of married adults stating their marriage was in jeopardy decreased. Massive social upheaval frequently makes us appreciate our families—including our spouses—more deeply. There is a little glimmer of hope in the mostly dismal news of the year 2020: for many couples who survive this pandemic together, their relationships will probably emerge stronger and more stable.
The most commonly cited reasons for divorce
Differences in priorities
Priorities that differ, which many men and women talk about and expect before getting married,subsequently cause serious problems.
Religious, cultural or ethnic differences
Couples from different religious, cultural, or ethnic backgrounds may occasionally disobey each other’s standards, which can lead to resentment. Children can also cause conflict because most parents want their kids to adopt their own traditions.
It frequently occurs that partners cannot effectively co-parent their children. Differing perspectives on child rearing frequently lead to conflict in a marriage. One parent may take a strict stance while the other adopts a more lenient approach when it comes to punishment. This could result in the kids favoring one parent over the other, splitting into two groups, and straining the marriage.
Marriages are put under stress during difficult times. Married couples, whether they are content or not, occasionally have disagreements regarding money matters that, if left unresolved, can cause unnecessary strain on their relationship.
Emotionally, psychologically, and sexually, men and women are different. As a marriage develops, things change, including the birth of children, health issues, and career changes. A couple’s sexual relationship may be impacted by all of these factors. A partner will search elsewhere if they are not physically satisfied. Sexual frustration frequently leads to divorce.
Any type of addiction is like a black hole that consumes everything in its path of destruction, upsetting relationships unnecessarily the stronger it becomes, and upsetting family life. The result is the same whether the addiction is to drink, drugs, or increasingly, pornography or social networking.
As the barriers between the public and private spheres are more blurred, social media is having an impact on privacy and family contact. These media sites’ nature encourages unrestrained posting, discussing, and sharing of information—often without consideration. Couples who spend excessive hours on social media platforms instead of spending quality time together as a family frequently end up divorcing because of this disconnect. Flirting is blamed for an increasing number of divorces, and what is shared on social networking sites is not as private as people believe. It has become incredibly simple for folks to determine if the grass is greener on the other side with the availability of so many profiles at their fingertips.
Infidelity/adultery, also referred to as “cheating,” is one of the leading causes of divorce in South Africa. Adultery is defined as extramarital sex that purposefully and maliciously interferes with marital ties and causes the marriage to end irretrievably. Infidelity is a breach of the mutually agreed-upon rules or boundaries that a couple assumes when they start their relationship and damages the foundation of the partnership, which is trust.
Lack of communication
The author Josh Billings, “Silence is one of the hardest arguments to disprove.” The most common reason for divorce and the root of about 70% of all marital problems is a lack of communication. No relationship can last if good communication isn’t maintained. Always agreeing does not equate to good communication. Couples with communication issues, which typically result in divorce, frequently struggle to find common ground and are unwilling to give in. Any area of a marriage where there is a lack of communication can seriously harm the union. When it comes to financial matters, many couples struggle to communicate well, which causes problems with money and unending conflicts.
One of the main causes of divorce is abuse. Domestic violence is abuse that affects people of all ages, ethnicities, and socioeconomic classes. Other types of abuse include verbal, emotional, psychological, and even financial abuse. It can involve actions like telling a child they are undesired, calling them names, ignoring them, confining them to a room, keeping track of their phone conversations, making an unwilling spouse perform a painful task, and withholding money. Male or female abusers can commit abuse, and it can take place in heterosexual, same-sex, and parent-child relationships. The majority of abusers are women and children, but men are also mistreated, mostly verbally and emotionally, though occasionally physically as well.