11 Oct 2023

Obtaining a decree of Divorce and Ancillary Relief in Zimbabwe.

It is one of the requirements of Zimbabwean law, that for one to obtain a decree of divorce from the Court, the marriage should have irretrievably broken down, and that there are no prospects of restoration of a normal marriage relationship. Some pointers of irretrievable breakdown of a marriage union include, but are not limited to the following:

    1. extreme and irreconcilable incompatibilities which frequently knock at the root of the union, making married life a galling yoke.
    2. Desertion
    3. cruelty
    4. Not living as husband and wife for a period in excess of twelve months, or any such longer period.
    5. the absolute loss of love and affection towards a partner.

Once there is a realization that a marriage cannot be salvaged, institution of divorce proceedings become necessary, and the process is commenced by/ through:

    1. obtaining proper legal advice from an attorney, which usually then lead to-
    2. preparation of divorce summons, alleging the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
    3. service of the summons on the partner whom one intends to divorce, and in those proceedings, that party is called a defendant.

A defendant upon whom divorce summons have been served has options open to him, for example,

    1. entering an appearance to defend the action, and articulating the reasons upon which such defense is premised.
    2. consenting to the granting of the relief being sought.

So this is a basic introduction. In our next article, we shall be articulating the various issues that arise in an action to obtain a decree of divorce, for instance,

    1. custody of minor children of the marriage,
    2. mantainance, and access
    3. property rights
    4. etc


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