How to Divorce in Zimbabwe

Divorce is the process of terminating a marriage or marital union. Divorce usually entails the cancelling or reorganizing of the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage, thus dissolving the bonds of matrimony between a married couple under the rule of law of the particular country or state.

Our practitioners understand that family law matters are often punctuated by emotion and are difficult for the parties involved. With sound, realistic advice to clients, we pride ourselves on ensuring that our client’s rights are protected. We have extensive experience in matrimonial and family law. Our services include:

  • Mediation
  • Divorce litigation
  • Custody, adoption and guardianship applications
  • Child and spousal maintenance litigation

How do I get divorced in Zimbabwe?

To get divorced in Zimbabwe, you need to get a court order for divorce. The divorce order is given by the High Court of Zimbabwe. One spouse should apply for divorce and the court process for divorce must be followed to completion.

How much does a divorce cost in Zimbabwe?

If the spouses agree to a divorce as well as the divorce terms it is a divorce by consent called an “uncontested divorce” which is quicker and less expensive. This is where both spouses sign the divorce papers agreeing to the terms and asking for a divorce order. In the High Court the cost of divorce by consent, where both agree to a divorce and sign the divorce papers, can be in the range of USD800 to USD2,000 for a simple divorce.

Who gets custody of a child at divorce or separation in Zimbabwe?

If there is no court order for custody, when parents live apart or parents separate, in terms of Zimbabwean custody law, custody is given to the mother of a child automatically until there is a court order giving custody to someone else. This applies if the parents of the child are married, or if the parents of the child were never married. If there is no court order for custody, by default the mother is granted custody of a child in Zimbabwe (by operation of law) until a court order for custody is granted.   

Who gets guardianship of children in Zimbabwe?

If there is no court order for guardianship, by default the father is granted guardianship of a child (by operation of law) when the parents separate or when the parents start living apart. But the guardianship decision-making must be in consultation with the mother, so in fact, in Zimbabwe co-guardianship exists where the mother and father both decide.

What age is a minor child in Zimbabwe?

In terms of the Legal Age of Majority Act of 1982, a Zimbabwean minor is a child under the age of 18 years. This means a Zimbabwean person attains majority at the age of 18 years. A Zimbabwean person between the ages of 16 and 18 years is called a ‘young person’ in terms of the Children’s Protection and Adoption Act.

What are the grounds for divorce in Zimbabwe?

Grounds for divorce are found under Section 4 of the Matrimonial Causes Act [chapter 5.13], (hereinafter referred to as the Act) and these are the following, Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage and, Incurable mental illness or continuous unconsciousness.