Cohabitation law in the offing

By Henry Sekanjako

The cohabitation clause was removed from the Marriage and Divorce Bill

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Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga (C) with Esther Majamjere (L) and Luca Omara of the Uganda Law Reform Commission at Parliament after they handed over a draft of the Marriage and Divorce Bill. Photo by Miriam Namutebi

Government is drafting a law to guide on property sharing between cohabiting couples, upon divorce.

According to Vastina Rukimirana Nsanze, the chairperson Uganda Reform Commission, the new law was informed by the Marriage and Divorce Bill which has been reviewed, resulting into the deletion of the cohabitation clause from the Bill for separate law.

Tabled in December 2009, the Marriage and Divorce Bill provided for the types of recognized marriages in Uganda, marital rights and duties, recognition of cohabitation in relation to property rights, grounds for breakdown of marriage, and rights of parties on dissolution of marriage.

“We have deleted the cohabitation clause from the Marriage and Divorce Bill, so that we don’t derail this particular Bill, we are going to develop a separate law on cohabitation,” Rukimirana said.

The Marriage and Divorce Bill is an amalgamation of the current Marriage Act and current Divorce Act, which were inherited from the British.