Sharing Of Property On Dissolution Of Unregistered Customary Union

In a number of cases people are married customarily and their marriages are not registered hence the reference to unregistered customary union. Different legal principles apply to the sharing of property upon dissolution of an unregistered customary union. Thus, the Matrimonial Causes Act which applies to the division of property on termination of a marriage does not apply to the sharing of property on termination of an unregistered customary union. This is because an unregistered customary union is not a marriage in the strict sense of the word.

A person who wishes to claim sharing of property on termination of an unregistered customary union must first show that there was in existence a customary union. This becomes important where the other party insists that the parties never concluded a customary law union. In most Zimbabwean cultures a customary union comes into existence on payment/part payment of lobola by the man to the in-laws. Proof of this fact would therefore suffice.

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