They then moved to Cranborne Park in Harare and later on to 114 Lomagundi Road in Harare. Based on her contribution to the property, the court will grant her her share. “The couple’s divorce case was quite straight forward at the High Court. The property to be settled must belong to either of the parties to the marriage. There are many advantages to nuptial agreements. She did not contribute financially to the acquisition of the immovable properties. Adv Damiso, told the Chronicle that the ruling was relevant to many married women in Zimbabwe because of the division of labour on the basis of gender. Receive news headlines directly to your inbox, daily! However, under the current laws, a woman seeking divorce is not entitled to any share in the husband's property. Mrs Abigail Matsvayi, director of the Zimbabwe Lawyers Association said the recent Supreme Court judgement confirms the value of domestic and care work which was in the past sidelined but is equally important. ... a ruling by Zimbabwe’s Supreme Court in June that entitles married couples to an equal share of their property upon divorce was hailed as historic by women’s rights advocates. We are both … read more. “As a starting point, the division of property upon divorce in this country is done in terms of the Matrimonial Causes Act. Updated: 09-Jun-2020 Simply put, a wife can stake no claim on her husband’s self-acquired property if they decide to divorce. During her entire married life, Mrs Emmaculata Mhora (65) had never worked a formal job nor earned a salary to contribute towards immovable property in the union. No marriage in Zimbabwe automatically accords equal ownership and sharing of matrimonial property. Each of them will pay their own debts. A GUIDE TO ADMINISTRATIVE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT LAW IN ZIMBABWE; A Guide To The Zimbabwean Law Of Delict; Commentary on the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act [Chapter 9:23] Criminal Procedure in Zimbabwe; Final Papers of the 2016 National Symposium on the Promise of the Declaration of Rights under the Constitution of Zimbabwe: numerous partnerships and associations with eminent law firms and associations divorce and separation in zimbabwe: distribution of property and custody rights Marriage is meant to be for a lifetime, or at least that is the general order of things. Do not claim what you did not acquire. Property & Divorce The Family Home in Divorce. Bulawayo When the court grants a divorce, property will be divided equitably (not always equally) between the two spouses. Weighing in on the matter, Ms Melissa Ndlovu, programmes officer at Emthonjeni Women’s Forum, said the Supreme Court ruling which gives women a right to 50 percent share of immovable property on divorce was a very welcome development as it will significantly change the lives of many women. Some daring people even claim property which they know their spouse inherited elsewhere or got from a previous divorce. Inquiry as to custody and maintenance of children. 09-June-2020, By: Emmanuel Siziba -Administrator- Grounds for divorce. At the trial, the plaintiff (Mrs Emmaculata Mhora) gave evidence as follows: That she is aged 65 years. You can also marry a person who owned their property before you got married. The Supreme Court in the case of Julius Rwabinumi vs Hope Bahimbisomwe (civil appeal No. I’m glad you asked. In 2019, over 2 600 couples in Zimbabwe filed for divorce, according to statistics obtained from the High Court’s Family Law division. Sharing of Properties in Legal parlance means, Settlement of Property. They are further in agreement that the laws of Zimbabwe apply to the patrimonial consequences of their marriage and the impending divorce. What Happens to Property After a Divorce? The Supreme Court in the case of Julius Rwabinumi vs Hope Bahimbisomwe (civil appeal No. 10 of 2009) set the guidelines for sharing of property by a divorcing couple. The fact that the property was bought after the marriage would not have any bearing on the subject. ... Zimbabwe’s too-productive mango grower... 17 Feb, 2021. Lungelo Ndhlovu It doesn’t matter who put in cash into it, or who’s the primary contributor or anything of that sort. We advise local, regional and international clients on various aspects of the law. Now men stand to lose on this front, in-case things are so sour with the wife. One of the most enduring myths relating to divorce … submitting your enquiry. “Women, many times perform these domestic roles within the home but when separating or divorcing, these roles are not recognised. In the case of a divorce, the divorce order and settlement agreement is the cause for the transfer from your ex-partner to yourself. 2. separated or divorced. There have been various misconceptions in terms of divorce ranging from the belief that property is shared on equal basis, that if a woman is … Phone: +263292888871 These assets are known as Matrimonial Property. My wife and I were married in Zimbabwe 13 years ago. An inheritance therefore is excluded property if it is received before separation, after separation or before the date of the cohabitation of the spouses. The accrual system is a formula that is used to calculate how much the larger estate must pay the smaller estate once the marriage comes to an end through death or divorce. property and anything that they earn or save during the marriage. The court looks at direct (tangible) and indirect (intangible) contribution of both parties on their combined assets whether bought prior, during or after separation (but before divorce). Zimbabwean matrimonial property law is governed by the Matrimonial Causes Act (Chapter 5:13) and the Married Persons Property Act (CHAPTER 5:12). The family courts cannot make financial orders about how a couple’s property and money will be divided until divorce proceedings have at least reached the midpoint in the process. Law reform has been passed to allow for no fault divorce, but the new law is not expected to be implemented until the autumn of next year. At the time I was a Zimbabwean resident (with SA citizenship). It is not true that your spouse is entitled to 50% of the property. 2) if property is in joint names both have equal share in property . When the court grants a divorce, property will be divided equitably (not always equally) between the two spouses. It’s not unusual for spouses to continue owning the family home together after a divorce… 4. The Matrimonial Causes Act first of all provides that the division of property is a matter of exercise of judiciary discretion, according to Adv Damiso. Email Us: Contact US, © 2021 The Chronicle | Disclaimer | Copyright. Duration of maintenance orders. Court in ruling on sharing of property 50/50 after divorce July 16, 2020 THE Supreme Court has ruled {that a} woman who didn’t make any direct contributions to the acquisition of property may be awarded a 50 % share upon divorce. Division of assets and maintenance orders. Uncontested divorces … Just because the property is currently registered in one or both parties’ names, it may not give them the right to sell and dispose of the property. How to work out splitting up money, property and possessions when you divorce or dissolve a civil partnership - including mediation. Classifications of property in a divorce context may depend on state laws. What Type of Property is Commonly Referred to as Separate Property? The Supreme Court judgement has therefore confirmed the importance of this work by awarding an equal share of the immovable property in the case in question,” she said. In 1982, the defendant “married” another wife in terms of (Chapter 5:11) even though their customary law marriage was still in subsistence. Zimbabwe: Divorce - Clash of Culture, Tradition. Now, they are encouraging women – especially in rural areas – to register their marriages and working to … In terms of the latter, marriages are generally out of community of property. The plaintiff never formally worked in her life although at some stage she sold chair backs and gave the defendant some of the money. An agreement of sale is the cause for the transfer of ownership from a seller to a purchaser. AFTER DIVORCE– IMMOVABLE PROPERTY The divorce order will determine the parties’ rights and obligations regarding the property. “The Constitution requires that approach and not only the hesitant application of outdated principles that predate the Constitution,” he said. In this global village we have established (. The plaintiff, defendant and this “wife” stayed together in Cranborne before moving together to the Lomagundi Road house. Sharing Of Properties. He further testified that the plaintiff is South African by origin and after divorce, she will return to South Africa where her family is. Variation, etc., of orders. Uncategorized. 10 of 2009) set the guidelines for sharing of property by a divorcing couple. For a house which is under the shared ownership of property between a husband and wife, difficulties may arise if the couple opts for a divorce. custody of the children, access , maintenance and property sharing, the matter can proceed on an uncontested basis in which case the parties sign relevant documents for filing with the Court. In the absence of a divorce settlement agreement between the spouses, they retain their own separate estates and there is no sharing of assets on divorce, unless the court granting the decree of divorce orders a redistribution of assets between the parties in terms of Section 7(3) of the Divorce Act. The basis of the Court’s decision was Article 26 of the 1995 Constitution which recognizes everyone’s right to own property either individually or in association with others. Going through a divorce can be a complex and challenging experience. you are more than welcome to contact us by going to the Contact Page or George Silundika & 9th Ave A woman was entitled to an equal share of property in divorce if she could prove that the property in question was acquired during the marriage and that she “contributed directly or indirectly” to its attainment. In 2019, more than 2,600 couples in Zimbabwe filed for divorce, about a 40% increase from two years earlier, according to statistics obtained from the High Court’s Family Law division. 28 December 2015. If the physical structures cannot be shared, for whatever reason, then the couple should share the market values of the properties. Shared property will be classified as belonging to both spouses, and its future owner will be decided by the court. In Zimbabwe, the system that governs property rights in marriage is known as out of community of property. In terms of those laws the parties were married out of community of property and the applicable law is the Matrimonial Causes Act No 33 of 1985 (as amended) of Zimbabwe. divorce and separation in zimbabwe: distribution of property and custody rights Marriage is meant to be for a lifetime, or at least that is the general order of things. For the Cranborne house, the defendant got a grant to buy the house which he subsequently sold to buy the Lomagundi Road property. COMMENT: Govt should ensure councils del... JUST IN: Serial armed robber released on $20 000 bail, JUST IN: Nationa Covid-19 vaccination programme has started in Bulawayo, Flash floods leave cars submerged in Beitbridge. The Bulawayo High Court handled 820 divorce cases in 2018. 13. To avoid this conflict, you can put protective measures in place to ensure your rights are protected. “What it means is that, it is basically a value judgement where the court is supposed to look at certain factors and then make a decision which the judge feels will reach a conclusion that is just and equitable,” she said. 12. A professional law firm established in 1991 Located in Harare Zimbabwe, Emmanuel Siziba -Administrator- He admitted that since the property was acquired during the subsistence of the marriage, she is entitled to a share but that she should only be able to realize that share upon his demise. … Settlement of property must be contained in a divorce petition or answer and should […] 4)wife cannot claim property transferred by husband during pend ency of divorce proceedings . … Adv Damiso said the consequence of this division of labour is that the man will have a salary for his work but the woman will not have a salary for her domestic work in the home despite the fact that both are working. Sharing of property after divorce in Nigeria also regarded as settlement of property is the transfer of property of a party that may be jointly owned to the other spouse. QUESTION: I am getting a divorce from my husband. If the property is registered as the joint property of a soon-to-be-former married couple, the wife would be able to stake a claim at the time of divorce. Widows in Zimbabwe are routinely evicted from their homes and land, and their property is stolen by in-laws when their husbands die. However, after divorce, a divorced wife does not get any right over her ex-husband's self acquired property even after the lifetime of of her ex-husband. Sharing assets after divorce may seem like a bad idea. V. Division of Assets following a Divorce. wife has no share in husband property after divorce . Often I’m asked “Why do I have to share my assets on divorce?” Once you marry, in most cases there is no longer a distinction between assets held in the name of one person and assets held in joint names. Although transfer duty is exempt if a property (or half share in the property) is disposed from one spouse to another in terms of a divorce, the transfer costs will still be payable. If, for example, one party comes into the marriage with property, they can set out the nature and value of that property in a nuptial agreement. Only the Plaintiff’s … 7. The property can either be real or personal property. Mr Melusi Matshiya, Secretary for Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development, said the Supreme Court verdict is a welcome development and is in line with the ministry’s stance that it is fallacious to suggest that women do not contribute to the acquisition of immovable property. How assets, including property, are divided during a divorce depends on what marriage regime, or type of marital contract, the … 10. Indeed, it is only wise if there is a value that could be gained from holding on to instead of selling the asset. The Matrimonial Causes Act (Chapter 5:13) looks at issues pertaining to divorce, property sharing, custody of children and maintenance. Mental illness or continuous unconsciousness. Should the parties later divorce, the court can refer to the nuptial agreement to demonstrate what was pre-acquired property and should not, therefore, be shared on divorce. Related South Africa Law Questions . When a marriage ends in Ghana, it is common for the wife to be denied any property acquired during the time spent together. Furthermore, if any legal dispute arises over the property, then, all the co-owners will be involved in the case. “For many South Africans a property is the biggest investment they’ll ever make and as such it makes sense that it is the largest asset that needs to be divided when couples separate,” says Bruce Swain, CEO of Leapfrog Property Group.. How assets, including property, are divided during a divorce depends on what marriage regime, or type of marital contract, the … How is property divided after a divorce? All Rights Reserved © 2021 Kanokanga & Partners Legal Practitioners IT. The Bulawayo High Court handled 820 divorce cases in 2018. “This situation only applies when the property was bought during the marriage,” says Swain. By: Emmanuel Siziba -Administrator- Published: 14-May-2020 | Updated: 09-Jun-2020 Uncategorized. They do not constitute our legal or professional advice. The consequences of divorce when married out of community of property without the accrual after 1 November 1984 In a marriage out of community of property without the accrual contracted after 1 November 1984, there can be no claim for a transfer of assets. The awarding of spousal property upon divorce is at the discretion of the court. Pastor Margarete Chirwa from the Presbyterian Church noted that women often suffer economic violence in homes which makes it hard for them to acquire property. There are several factors that come to prominence during these types of divorce cases, and they are: Yes, you can. Divorce not only terminates the legal partnership between two spouses, but can also require that the property previously shared by the couple be divided. Good day. See more. Someone advised that in divorce the settlement goes according to the country you live in. Dividing assets is complicated, but when said assets are in a different country, the process can be more drawn out and complex. However your son shall have right over your self acquired property after your lifetime, if the property … She and the defendant started staying together in 1970 and in 1971, the union was solemnised in terms of the then African Marriages Act [Chapter 105] (now the Customary Marriages Act (Chapter 5:07). In 2010, Mrs Mhora approached the High Court seeking a judgement of divorce, maintenance and distribution of property and the High Court ruled in her favour, a resolve which her husband sought to challenge at the Supreme Court. “In a lot of homes, you will find that the husband goes to work while the wife stays at home and is responsible for the domestic work such as taking care of the children, nurturing the family and attending social events on behalf of the family,” she said. How is property divided after a divorce? A major change in this amendment is that this rule is applicable to all the properties of the husband acquired before and after the marriage, whereas the earlier law made sure that the wife gets share only in those properties which are acquired by her husband only after marriage. If the marriage ends in divorce each spouse keeps all property and money that he/she owned before the marriage and all property that he/she bought during the marriage, as well as all money that he/she saved during the marriage. 9. The Supreme Court of Zimbabwe has confirmed this position. Domicile in the legal sense means Someone's true, principal, and permanent home. It was her husband Mr Govati Mhora who worked as a police officer and made the contribution. Readers are advised not to act on the basis of the information contained herein alone. This article will focus on the uncontested divorce. You can also marry a person who owned their property before you got married. The Supreme Court of Zimbabwe has confirmed this position. Section 10 states that, each widow or her child or both of them shall be entitled -absolutely to the homestead property of the intestate but where the total value of the estate does not exceed K30,000 the estate shall devolve upon the surviving spouse or child of the intestate or to both. 8. Widows in Zimbabwe are routinely evicted from their homes and land, and their property is stolen by in-laws when their husbands die. A proposed marriage law being discussed in Zimbabwe doesn’t adequately protect women’s property rights at divorce. Ruling on sharing assets 50/50 after divorce triggers mixed reactions. the income-earning capacity, assets and other financial resources which each spouse and child has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future; the financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which each spouse and child has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future; the standard of living of the family, including the manner in which any child was being educated or trained or expected to be educated or trained; the age and physical and mental condition of each spouse and child; the direct or indirect contribution made by each spouse to the family, including contributions made by looking after the home and caring for the family and any other domestic duties; the value to either of the spouses or to any child of any benefit, including a pension or gratuity, which such spouse or child will lose as a result of the dissolution of the marriage; Summons, particulars of claim (Plaintiff’s Declaration). 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