Easing divorce critical
01 October 2019 | Opinion
The new law will require only one ground for divorce – the irretrievable breakdown of the union. This removes the fault requirement and limits pitting spouses against each other. In divorces where there are no children or disputes involved, a paper application can be lodged jointly by spouses at a regional court. This will eliminate the need for costly and drawn-out actions.
Experts have rightfully mused that the current difficulties underpinning divorce proceedings in Namibia often contribute to domestic violence, by trapping people in unhappy or violent relationships.
While many couples separate without a formal divorce, this leaves property rights unresolved.
Legal policy expert Dianne Hubbard, from the Legal Assistance Centre, said that by easing access to divorce, conflict between couples will be lessened, and this can “only benefit the children of the marriage”. Although no one goes into a marriage while thinking of divorce as the end-product, it is critical that when irreconcilable break-ups happen, parties, including children, are protected. The divorce amendment bill is thus a critical piece of legislation with which to ensure this.