Divorce laws to be changed – Regional Courts set to handle cases
The Office of the Judiciary (OOJ) at a media this week said that a number of laws set to be changed are in the pipeline and the office is gearing to implement the laws once enacted.
One of of those changes will see the Regional Courts being given jurisdiction to deal with divorce matters which were being handled by the High Courts.
Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Office of the Judiciary, Tousy Namiseb, said that divorce matters could only be heard in Windhoek and Oshakati at the High Courts and this was very expensive for the ordinary person.
“Therefore by changing the Act, Magistrate Courts will be able to relieve the High Courts of some of the pressure of divorce cases and they will not be that expensive,” he added.
He said that at the moment the law states that an individual who files for divorce should be able to prove fault on the defendant, adultery or abuse, which can be very difficult if there is no physical proof.
“This is why reforms are underway in the system, where plaintiff can file for irretrievable break down of the marriage and not fault based,” he explained.
Furthermore he said that the issue of the so called ‘red-lined’ marriages is still not resolved but an appropriate law will be passed soon and OOJ will provide judicial officers and staff to implement that law through the court systems.
“The red-line marriages indicate that if a couple is married below the red -line their marriage is in out of community of property, but if a couple is married below the red-line their marriage is automatically in community of property, which we are working to change,” he added.
Meanwhile, he also confirmed that the tabling of the Bill has not taken place yet, but they are currently in the process of drafting the Bill.