Changes to the divorce laws in Uganda.

Once upon a time in 1904, Uganda came up with a Divorce law which we still use today. For a divorce to take place in Uganda, there must be a reason for the divorce. However, these reasons were different for men and for women.

A man could divorce his wife for adultery, or cruelty or any other reason. But A woman could divorce for a number of reasons, but If she were to divorce for adultery, then she needed to show that there was adultery with other things e.g adultery with cruelty, adultery with a blood relative etc

In 1995, Uganda came up with a Constitution. Article 31 of the Constitution changed this and said that both men and women have the same rights in marriage and divorce.

Under Ugandan law, the Constitution is the main law and all other laws are “minor” laws to the Constitution. This means that if there is something in a minor law that goes against the Constitution, then that thing is said to be Unconstitutional and so it had to be changed or ignored or modified. Because of this, that part of the Divorce law was modified and now, both men and women have equal rights, including reasons to divorce.

There are only 3 reasons for divorce in Uganda. These are;

1. Adultery e.g having sexual intercourse with anyone not your husband or wife.

2. Cruelty e.g beating, abusing, refusing sexual intercourse etc

3. Dissertion e.g going away for 2 years or more from your husband or wife.

Ohh… and in case you were wondering about bride price/ dowry/bride appreciation, it is non-refundable too because it is degrading to a woman’s dignity.

Now you know.

Source: Barefoot Lawyers- Uganda.

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