The following question is part of Groundup's Answers to your questions series.
Where can I get a copy of my divorce certificate?
The short answer
You can only get a copy of the divorce decree from the High Court in which the decree was issued.
The whole question
My partner and I want to get married but she cannot find her divorce papers. She isn't sure if her ex even gave them to her, but they want nothing to do with each other so we cannot ask for a copy.
We don't have a case number but we do have both their ID numbers. What can we do to get a copy of the divorce decree?
The long answer
You can only get a copy of the divorce decree from the High Court in which the decree was issued. The court would require as many of the following details as possible to look up the particular decree: The divorce case number; The date of the divorce (day, month, and year); The names and ID numbers of the people divorcing.
If you don't have the case number but you do have the exact date, the Registrar at the High Court can use the information to search the divorce records of that year, month, and day to retrieve the file from the archives, after which a copy will be made that is stamped and signed by the High Court.
If you only had the year but no month or day, the Registrar (or a lawyer that you hire) would have to search through all the divorces of that year in that particular court. This could prove time-consuming and expensive. It may yet be worth asking your partner if she has the divorce case number to speed things up.
Once your partner has got the decree of divorce from the High Court, she would need to have this decree registered at Home Affairs to change her status on their system to 'divorced'. She would also need a Letter of No Impediment, which is issued by Home Affairs, for the two of you to marry.
Wishing you the best,
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