n Tydskrif vir die Suid-Afrikaanse Reg - A pragmatic look at mediation as an alternative to divorce litigation

Volume 2010, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0257-7747
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2207



Marriages in South Africa are breaking up at an alarming rate. According to the latest divorce statistics released by Statistics South Africa, approximately 31 000 divorces were recorded in 2006. The implications are that over 60 000 adults and approximately 31 000 children were directly affected by divorce in that year. But these statistics only reflect half the picture. It should be borne in mind that many people in South Africa choose not to get married in terms of the Marriage Act, the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act or the recently enacted Civil Union Act, preferring instead to cohabit informally for an indefinite period. Then there are those who "marry" in terms of religious systems not recognised by our law. Many of these unions break down as well, but they are not included in the official divorce statistics. It would therefore be true to say that virtually everybody is affected by divorce or family breakdown - either we have experienced its trauma first hand or we have shared it with a close friend, family member or colleague.

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