Is there a need for prenuptial agreements in Zambia?
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Married women have throughout history been said to be doubly jeopardized in property rights. As women they often could not inherit property from their parents or husbands. This position was greatly seen in customary marriages. Despite the fact that in many instances women had contributed directly or indirectly, the position remained unfavourable to women, hi instances of divorce women initially had little if any claim to family property after Divorce. It is imperative to note that the advent of colonialism introduced a dual legal system i.e. English law and Indigenous Customary law and as such the major problem was the difficulty of reconciling the two legal systems. Marriage could be governed by means of the Marriage Act as applied in England or Customary law. However, in terms of Customary law in Zambia it was such that the law was unwritten and uncertain as a result of which the practice of mixing the two legal systems rendered the whole issue of women's rights after divorce undefined. This paper will seek to ensure that the definitions of women’s rights after divorce are clearly given full force and effect. The general objective of the essay is ultimately to contribute to Family law in Zambia by providing a mechanism that may secure that grossly unfair marriage settlements in terms of the Marriage Act and Customary law are avoided by allowing parties to a marriage if they wish to be able before or during the marriage to enter into agreements called Prenuptial agreements. These agreements concern parties to a marriage is property rights and maintenance rights and by entering such agreements they will have greater certainty as to the control over their financial affairs and as such this mechanism can indeed eliminate any inequalities, injustice and hardships that are to ensue if at all the parties divorce.
- Law