WINDHOEK - Couples wedded outside the police zone (north of the redline) will be given an opportunity in the new marriage law to change their marriage status on whether they will be married out or in community of property.
Currently, marriages outside the police zone are automatically out of community of property unlike the default system that applies to other marriages.
Deputy permanent secretary in the Office of the Judiciary Tousy Namiseb made this statement while speaking about court readiness to receive laws to be enacted soon and about issues of the so-called ‘redline marriages’.
New Era incorrectly reported on Monday that northern couples must divorce and remarry in order to benefit from the new law.
Namiseb explained that in the new marriage law, couples married outside the police zone will be applying to a specific appointed magistrate if they want to correct their regime.
The affected couples will be given a limited time to do that.
“Some parties are married but are not aware that they are married out of community of property and when they come to divorce or when one of the spouses dies, dealing with the estate becomes a problem,“ he noted last week.
Namiseb said in the new marriage law that will be enacted soon all marriages will be treated the same way – there will only be one regime system called default (married in community of property) unless one party comes with a contract which states otherwise.
“Going forward, it will be default (in community of property) for the rest of Namibians – one regime, the choices are there if you want to be out of community of property (and it requires a contract),” he explained
Namiseb told New Era last week that there are people (married north of redline) who may want to change their martial regime and as the law stands now they must first get a divorce and marry again but the soon to be enacted law will deal with that problem as parties will be given a specific period to change that.
Namiseb also stated if the parties (north of the redline) want to marry in community of property they are required to make a declaration to a marriage officer that they want to marry in community of property, but most people are not aware of that law and when they get married, they are married without making the necessary declaration.
Asked if this cannot be changed, Namiseb said: As the law stands now, once you have married and have chosen a specific regime it can only be changed with a divorce. In some cases, parties are marrying north of the redline and the marriage certificate shows it is in community of property but that is erroneous – the operation of the law says it is out of community of community of property. The law that will be enacted will change the regime so that all marriages, be it north or south of redline are treated in the similar way – in community of property unless parties decide otherwise. Namiseb said the law is still to be tabled by the Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration, Frans Kapofi.