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Divorce and separation is the ending of a formal marriage or informal cohabitation.

Divorce is the permanent ending of a formal/legally recognized marriage.

Separation is the term used in situations of termination of family relationships that from the outset are not official or because the court has ordered the separation known as judicial separation of a legally recognized marriage.

According to the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda (1995), “Men and women of the age of eighteen years and above have the right to marry and to found a family and are entitled to equal rights in marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution(divorce).

Divorces are regulated by the Divorce Act. Any married Ugandan resident can apply for a divorce. If both parties to the marriage are African, divorce may be filed to Chief Magistrate’s court. If either of the parties is non-African, the petition has to be filed in the High Court.

Divorce proceedings include the following steps: 1. Filing a petition 2. Supporting documents to the petition 3. Summons 4. Answer to the petition 5. Mediation 6. Hearing 7. Decree Nisi, leading to Decree Absolute.

Acceptable reasons for court to grant a divorce?

  • A husband or wife may tell the court that the spouse is guilty of adultery.
  • A wife or husband has changed religion and gone through a form of marriage with another woman or man
  • Cruelty on the part of either the husband or wife.
  • The husband or wife was already married to someone else.
  • The husband or wife deserted their spouse for two years without reason.
  • Either party Committed rape, sodomy or bestiality.

Can you always get a divorce from court when you apply for it?

The court will not grant the divorce if:

One of the parties conducted him/herself in a way which encouraged the other spouse to commit the offence.

The offended spouse encourages the action, agreed with the other spouse to commit the offence, or forgives him or her for the offence.

In other words, the court will not grant a divorce where there is connivance, collusion and condonation.

The purpose of this is to discourage people from agreeing to divorce over small issues and destroying the special institution of marriage.

What is the final effect of a divorce on a once-married couple?

Divorce ends the marriage and all rights and privileges that accrue to married people.

The court may make orders relating to the division of property and payment of alimony or maintenance of the spouse.

The court may also determine which of the spouse is to remain with the children and provide for the maintenance of the children

Under Islamic law, the wife takes the property in her room and the children remain with the father.

Divorce means that the two parties become single again and have rights to re-marry any other person of their choice.

The divorced people do not benefit from the estate of either of them should one of them die. The relationship is completely terminated.

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