In most instances, couples marry each other before leaving the country to start a new life in another country. Where one obtains a divorce decree in a foreign country it is crucial for one to register the order in the country where the marriage was solemnized. The justification for registering a divorce judgment obtained abroad is that the parties to the divorce must have their status in the nation where their marriage was solemnized and updated. As long as the parties haven't registered with the proper court, they will be treated as a married couple.
The law requires one to apply for divorce in the jurisdiction where the husband domiciles (permanently staying) when the action is instituted. In the event that the parties involved are not residents of Zimbabwe at the institution of the divorce proceedings, they ought to obtain the order where the husband is domiciled. Having fulfilled that requirement one will have to get an order from the court where the husband is domiciled. Once the order is obtained the question comes whether the order is from a foreign court other than the court where the parties obtained their marriage certificate or where the marriage was solemnized.
If the marriage was consummated in Zimbabwe and the wife has continued to reside there for a minimum of two years as of the action's filing date, despite the fact that the husband has never had a place of residence there; or If the wife is a Zimbabwean citizen at the action's filing date and has been regularly residing there for a minimum of two years as of that date one will have register the foreign order from another country.
Once parties obtain a divorce order or certificate in the country that they are currently domiciled, they can look for lawyers in Zimbabwe who can register the divorce decree in the proper court. Where parties are married in Zimbabwe either in terms of the civil union or customarily the marriage ought to be dissolved in Zimbabwe as well. It is imminent that the divorce is registered in the applicable court of Zimbabwe so that the status is registered with the Registrar of Marriages. If parties were married customarily the divorce can be registered in the magistrate's court and where it was a civil union it can be registered in the High Court of Zimbabwe. Where parties are married in Zimbabwe either in terms of the civil union or customarily the marriage ought to be dissolved in Zimbabwe as well.
Divorce involves changing one's marital status from married to non-marital, indicating that they are no longer married to their spouse. As long as the status is not updated in Zimbabwe or the country where the parties solemnized the marriage, they will be considered married. It is important for one who has obtained a divorce order from another country to register the decree in Zimbabwe so that the status is changed and updated in case one would like to remarry.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.