Sharing of Pension Rights in the Event of Divorce: a Case Comment

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1. Introduction

The institution of marriage is a crucial social pillar in any society. When it comes to spouses in a marriage they are supposed to respect, support and assist each other throughout their life in order to uphold this institution. In contemporary Ethiopia, a wife has a great role starting from providing care for her children and her husband. Besides, she is expected to do all the works in the house. In a nutshell, her over all contribution is so evident and cannot be estimated in terms of money.

Every thing works well until the marriage encounters problems and dissolved by divorce. A wife who took care of her husband for years will go through a lot in terms of financial problems following the divorce, whereas the husband keeps his salary. For the most part the wife’s contribution is left aside. This has been a prevalent fact among Ethiopia woman who are not well acquainted with their rights as a wife to share the common property, common property being any asset acquired or income earned by a married person while living with his or her spouse. Nevertheless, it has been observed that this right is not well implemented by Ethiopian courts.

The Federal Revised Family Code stipulates that all incomes derived by personal efforts of the spouses and their common or personal property shall be common property of the spouses during the marriage. One of the common property is income derived from salary of the spouse; inter alia a pension is closely linked to each individual’s income.

It is imperative to see the reason behind communality of the property during the marriage. As it can be understood the first aim of a marriage is to share the benefits, which is indicative of the fact that the success of one of the spouses is achieved by the contribution of the other. Accordingly, the law envisages the right to take their respective share from the common property in proportion to their contribution during the dissolution of marriage. So, the...
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