top of page

Family: High Court revokes fraudulent divorce

A woman (67) who was not aware that she was fraudulently divorced from her estranged husband, who tried to evict her from her home, had the divorce revoked by Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) Acting Judge Leigh Franck. The Star reports the former couple got married in community of property in September 1981 and built a house in Soweto. The woman still lives in the house. In May 2010, the husband instituted divorce proceedings in the Regional Court. He was represented by Sarlie & Ismail Inc, while the wife was self-represented. In April 2012 she received a decree of divorce after it was posted to her mail box. It was dated November 2011, granted by the High Court on an unopposed basis. The documents stated that she had forfeited benefits from the marriage, including the house, and the husband’s pension fund. She subsequently approached lawyers to deal with the matter.

The wife only became aware that the matter had not been resolved in May 2022, when the husband wanted to evict her from the property as he was named as the sole owner on the divorce order. She approached Legal Aid and when the attorneys went to the High Court to get the file pertaining to her divorce, it could not be located. The Star notes through her legal representatives, she launched an application for the divorce to be revoked as she was not served with the summons. She said it was incomprehensible that a forfeiture order was granted in respect of the property. The husband was unable to provide the court with documents showing when the wife was served with summons from the High Court, and there was no documentation showing that the divorce was unopposed. There was also no explanation why the matter was removed from the Regional Court and moved to the High Court. When giving the ruling, Franck said circumstances surrounding the granting of decree of divorce were suspicious. ‘Especially considering the fact that the husband has neglected or refused to provide this court with the necessary documentation that would disprove such averments.’ The judge also said the divorce order that had declared a forfeiture of benefits against the wife was too ambitious. Dissatisfied with the husband’s lack of explanation, the judge revoked the divorce and also declared that the wife has a share in the house.

55 views0 comments


bottom of page