- Commenced on 1 October 1904
- [This is the version of this document at 31 December 2000.]
- [Note: The version of the Act as at 31 December 2000 was revised and consolidated by the Law Reform Commission of Uganda. All subsequent amendments have been researched and applied by Laws.Africa for ULII.]
1. Limitations of ActNothing in this Act shall authorise—
2. InterpretationIn this Act, “minor children” means—
Dissolution of marriage
4. Grounds for divorce
5. CorespondentWhere the husband is the petitioner, he shall make the alleged adulterer a corespondent to the petition unless he is excused by the court from doing so on one of the following grounds—
6. Scope of inquiry by the courtThe court shall satisfy itself, so far as it reasonably can, as to the facts alleged, and also whether or not the petitioner has been in any manner accessory to or conniving at the going through of the form of marriage or the adultery complained of, or has condoned it, and shall also inquire into any countercharge which may be made against the petitioner.
7. When petition shall be dismissedThe petition shall be dismissed if the court is satisfied that the petitioner’s case has not been proved, or is not satisfied that the alleged adultery has been committed, or finds that during the marriage the petitioner has been accessory to or conniving at the going through of the form of marriage or the adultery or has condoned it, or finds that the petition is presented or prosecuted in collusion with either the respondent or corespondent.
8. When petition shall be granted
9. Condonation of adulteryAdultery shall not be deemed to have been condoned unless conjugal cohabitation has been continued or subsequently resumed.
10. Grant of relief to the respondentIf the respondent opposes the relief sought on the ground, where the petitioner is the husband, of his adultery, cruelty, or desertion without reasonable excuse, or, where the petitioner is the wife, on the ground of her adultery, the court may give the respondent, on his or her application, the same relief to which he or she would have been entitled if a petition had been presented seeking that relief, and the respondent may give evidence of or relating to the adultery, cruelty or desertion.
Nullity of marriage
11. Petitions for nullity of marriageA husband or a wife may present a petition to the court praying that his or her marriage may be declared null and void.
12. Grounds for decree of nullity
13. Children of annulled marriageWhere a marriage is annulled on the ground that a former husband or wife was living, and it is found that the subsequent marriage was contracted in good faith and with the full belief of the parties that the former husband or wife was dead, or where a marriage is annulled on the ground of insanity, children begotten before the decree nisi is made shall be specified in the decree, and shall be entitled to succeed in the same manner as legitimate children to the estate of the parent who at the time of the marriage was competent to contract.
Judicial separation and protection orders
14. Grounds for judicial separationA husband or wife may apply by petition to the court for a judicial separation on the ground of cruelty, adultery, or desertion without reasonable excuse for two years or upwards, and the court, on being satisfied that the allegations of the petition are true, and that there is no legal ground why the application should not be granted, may decree judicial separation accordingly.
15. Property of wife after judicial separationWhere judicial separation has been decreed under this Act, the wife shall, from the date of the decree, and while the separation continues, be considered as unmarried with respect to property of every description which she may acquire or which may come to or devolve upon her, and that property may be disposed of by her in all respects as if she were an unmarried woman, and on her decease, if she dies intestate, shall go as it would have gone if her husband had then been dead; but if she again cohabits with her husband, all property to which she may be entitled when that cohabitation takes place shall be held to her separate use, subject, however, to any agreement in writing made between herself and her husband while separate.
16. Contracts, etc. of wife after judicial separationWhere judicial separation has been decreed under this Act, the wife shall, while the separation continues, be considered as an unmarried woman for the purposes of contracts, wrongs and injuries, and of suing and being sued in any civil proceedings, and her husband shall not be liable in respect of any contract, act or costs entered into, done, omitted or incurred by her during the separation; except that—
17. Petition to reverse decree of judicial separation
18. Protection orders
19. Effect of reversal, etc. of judicial separation or protection order
Restitution of conjugal rights
20. Restitution of conjugal rights
21. Damages for adultery
22. Costs against a corespondentA corespondent may be ordered to pay the whole or any part of the costs of the proceedings if adultery with the wife of the petitioner has been established against him; except that he shall not be ordered to pay the costs of the petitioner—
23. Alimony pendente liteIn any suit under this Act the wife, whether or not she has obtained a protection order, may apply to the court for alimony pending the suit, and the court may thereupon make such order as it may deem just; except that alimony pending the suit shall in no case exceed one-fifth of the husband’s average net income for the three years next preceding the date of the order, and shall continue in the case of a decree nisi of dissolution or nullity of marriage until the decree is made absolute.
24. Permanent alimony
25. Discharge or alteration of order for alimonyWhere an order has been made for the payment of alimony, and the husband from any cause subsequently becomes unable to make the payments, the court may discharge or modify, or suspend the order in whole or in part, and may again revive the order in whole or in part.
26. Settlement of the wife’s propertyWhen a decree of dissolution of marriage or of judicial separation is pronounced on account of adultery by the wife, and the wife is entitled to any property, the court may, notwithstanding the existence of the disability of coverture, order the whole or any part of the property to be settled for the benefit of the husband, or of the children of the marriage, or of both.
27. Power to vary settlementsAfter a decree absolute of dissolution or of nullity of marriage, the court may inquire into the existence of antenuptial or postnuptial settlements made on the parties whose marriage is the subject of the decree, and may make such orders with reference to the application of the whole or part of the settled property, whether for the benefit of the husband or wife of the children, if any, or of both children and parents, as seems fit; except that no order for the benefit of the parents, or either of them, shall be made at the expense of the children.
28. Powers of the court as to settlementsWhere the court has power to direct any property to be settled, or to vary the terms of an existing settlement, it may appoint trustees to whom the money shall be paid, and may order the necessary instruments to be prepared containing such provisions as it may think fit, and may order all necessary parties to execute the instruments, and may from time to time appoint new trustees, and may do all such other acts as it may deem necessary for carrying such directions into effect.
29. Custody of childrenIn suits for dissolution of marriage, or for nullity of marriage or for judicial separation, the court may at any stage of the proceedings, or after a decree absolute has been pronounced, make such order as it thinks fit, and may from time to time vary or discharge the orders, with respect to the custody, maintenance and education of the minor children of the marriage, or for placing them under the protection of the court.
30. ProcedureSubject to the provisions of this Act, all proceedings under this Act shall be regulated by the Civil Procedure Act.
32. Service of petitionEvery petition under this Act shall be served on the party to be affected by it, either within or without Uganda, in such manner as the court may, by general or special order, from time to time direct; except that the court may dispense with such service in case it seems necessary or expedient so to do.
33. Examination of witnessesThe witnesses in all proceedings shall be examined orally; except that the parties may verify their respective cases by affidavit, but so that the deponent may be orally cross-examined and reexamined either on the application of the other party or by direction of the court.
34. Husband and wife compellable witnessesOn any petition presented by a wife for the dissolution of her marriage on the ground of adultery coupled with cruelty or desertion without reasonable excuse, the husband and wife respectively shall be competent and compellable to give evidence relating to the cruelty or desertion.
35. Sittings in cameraThe court may hear the whole or any part of the proceedings under this Act with closed doors.
36. AdjournmentThe court may adjourn the hearing of any petition under this Act, and may require further evidence on the petition.
37. Making decrees nisi decrees absolute
38. Enforcement of orders and appealsAll decrees and orders made by the court in proceedings under this Act shall be enforced, and may be appealed from, as if they were decrees or orders made by the court in the exercise of its original civil jurisdiction; except that—
39. Remarriage of the partiesWhen the time limit for appealing against a decree of dissolution or nullity of marriage has expired, and no appeal has been presented, or when in the result of any such appeal, any marriage shall be declared to be dissolved or annulled, but not sooner, the parties to the marriage may marry again as if the prior marriage had been dissolved by death.
40. Clergyman of Church of Uganda not bound to marry a divorced guilty partyNo clergyman in Holy Orders of the Church of Uganda shall be compelled to solemnise the marriage of any person whose former marriage has been dissolved on the ground of his or her adultery, or shall be liable to any suit, penalty, or censure for solemnising, or refusing to solemnise, such marriage.
41. Another may perform serviceWhen a clergyman in Holy Orders or other minister of religion in charge of any church or chapel refuses to perform such marriage service between persons who would, but for the refusal, be entitled to be married in the church or chapel, he or she shall permit any other clergyman in Holy Orders of the Church to perform the service in the church or chapel.
42. Rules of courtThe Chief Justice may make rules of court with respect to all matters of procedure under this Act, and may also prescribe the forms to be used and the fees to be paid in proceedings taken under this Act.
History of this document
31 December 2000 this version
01 October 1904