Divorce Law in Zimbabwe

Divorce law in Zimbabwe is governed under the Matrimonial Causes Act, which was implemented in 1986. It has been amended on a regular basis, with the most recent update occurring in June 2000.


According to the Matrimonial Causes Act, there are two acceptable grounds for divorce in Zimbabwe. One is an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage to the extent that restoration of a healthy relationship is not an option. The second is an incurable mental illness or continuous unconsciousness of one party.


For divorce in Zimbabwe to be granted under the grounds of an irretrievable breakdown, one of the following conditions must be proved to the courts: The parties have not lived together for a continuous period of at least twelve months; the defendant has committed adultery; the defendant has been sentenced to prison for an extended period or declared a habitual criminal; during the marriage, the defendant has treated the plaintiff with cruelty; or during the marriage, the defendant has abused alcohol or drugs uncontrollably.


Under divorce law in Zimbabwe, the court will grant divorce due to mental illness or continuous unconsciousness if one of the following conditions is met: the defendant is suffering from mental disease and has been receiving treatment for a combined total of five out of the last ten years of marriage; the defendant has been in a state of unconsciousness for at least six months prior to filing for divorce.

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About the Author

Brandy Robertson began writing professionally in 2008. Some of her published pieces can be found at Her writing focuses on providing post-secondary guidance from her six years as an employee with Brandon University, and advice on volunteerism from many years of community involvement. Robertson is pursuing an honors Bachelor of Arts in English from Brandon University.