Divorce of Least Resistance
Critics of the no fault divorce laws here in the United States have long claimed that the ease of negotiating an uncontested divorce process is just too easy and actually encourages people to get divorced. Supporters refute the claim and say there is no reason a couple should be forced to endure a drawn-out divorce if they both agree to the split and the easier the process is, the better it is. While there may some merit in both sides of the argument, a recent divorce case in South Africa pushed the definition of an uncontested divorce past the limits of sensibility when a woman who thought she was married found out her husband had divorced her without her knowledge.
A report in the Sowetan Newspaper from Johannesburg said Takalani Musekene was checking her marital records at the Department of Home Affairs when she discovered that her husband had somehow obtained a legal divorce decree behind her back and that she was now listed as officially divorced. She then learned that her husband had already married another woman and was off on a honeymoon with his new bride.
An uncontested divorce is one thing, but a divorce you don’t even have a chance to contest is another. Takalani said she will â€œfight until sanity prevails in the matter,” and that she would be consulting a lawyer to ensure that her husband’s second marriage is nullified. The South African Department of Justice confirmed that the new marriage was indeed unlawful and that the matter would be investigated due to â€œfoul playâ€ in the way the mysterious and completely uncontested divorce decree had been granted to her husband. Judging from the facts presented, it would seem there is still another divorce in the cards for Takalani, but this time she will probably know about it in advance.