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Uganda - Obtain Divorce Decree

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Divorce Proceedings in Uganda.
A husband or wife may present a petition for divorce to court praying for the marriage to be dissolved. Like all claims of a civil nature, divorce is instituted in a court with jurisdiction where the petitioner ordinarily resides. Where all parties to the petition are African, then the petition may be filed in a Chief Magistrate's court. Where one of the parties is not African, then the petition must be filed in the High Court. Any person who is a resident in Uganda may file a divorce. One can get a divorce if the relationship has permanently broken down.
The following steps are taken

  1. Filling a Petition
    • A person who petitions for divorce is called a petitioner while the party against whom the petition is brought is called a respondent. A Petition is a document stating the petitioner's claim against the respondent and what he/she wishes court to do for him/her

  2. Supporting Documents to the Petition
    • The petition must be supported by a Summary of Evidence, list of documents, witnesses and authorities that the petitioner intends to rely on. The requisite filing fees for filling a petition (UGX 6,000) must be paid in the bank and evidence of payment attached to the petition.

  3. Summons
    • Petitioner then extracts a Summons from court requiring the respondent to either file a defense or appear in court on a day specified therein and serves it together with the petition on the respondent within 21 days after court issues the summons. Once the summons is served on the respondent, the petitioner must file an affidavit of service in court clearly stating how he/she served it on the respondent.

  4. Answer to the petition
    • Upon receipt of the summons and petition, the respondent is required to file an Answer to the Petition within 15 days from the date of receipt of the summons. The answer to the petition must be supported by a Summary of Evidence, list of documents, witnesses and authorities the respondent intends to rely on. The answer to the petition and all its accompaniments must be served on the petitioner by the respondent. The parties to the petition will then be referred to mediation by the court.

  5. Mediation
    • If the mediation fails, the case then proceeds to a scheduling conference where the parties agree on the issues to be resolved in court. Here the petitioner and respondent file a Scheduling Memorandum. After the scheduling conference, the petitioner then sets down the case for hearing by giving a Hearing Notice to the respondent.

  6. Hearing
    • In scenarios where the respondent fails to file an answer to the petition within the 15 days, then the petitioner may set down the suit for hearing exparte where court will only hear the petitioner's case. At the hearing, the court will receive evidence from the petitioner in respect to his/her petition and the respondent in respect to his/her answer to the petition. After hearing from both parties or from only the petitioner where the respondent does not file an answer in reply court will go ahead to grant a Decree Nisi

  7. Decree Nisi
    • After the lapse of six months from the date on which the decree Nisi is issued, the petitioner then applies for the grant of a Decree Absolute which will completely dissolve the marriage.

(See documents to use below)

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Required Documents[edit]

  • Marriage certificate
  • Original national identification card/passport

Office Locations & Contacts[edit]

Office and location of Uganda high court

Courts of Judicature
High Court Building 
Plot 2, The Square
P. O. Box 7085, Kampala Uganda

Phone Contacts
Tel Line            : +256 - (0) 414-344 116
Toll Free Lines    :  0- 800 -111 900, +256 - (0) 417- 892 900
Fax                 : +256 - (0) 414-344 110
Email               : info [at]

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  • In order for a party to be eligible for a divorce, the marriage must be recognized by the law and must have lasted at least three (3) years unless the circumstances are very exceptional


  • The fees are normally set by court depending on case by case.


  • The divorce is Valid forever unless you again reconcile and remarry.

Documents to Use[edit]

summary of evidence
answer to petition
summary of evidence
scheduling memorandum
hearing notice
Decree Nisi
Decree Absolute

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Sample Documents[edit]

Please attach sample completed documents that would help other people.

Processing Time[edit]

  • This varies depending on the issues surrounding the divorce proceedings

Related Videos[edit]

Videos explaining the procedure or to fill the applications. 
Attach videos using the following tag <&video type='website'>video ID|width|height<&/video&> from external websites. 	
Please remove the '&' inside the tags during implementation.
Website = allocine, blip, dailymotion, facebook, gametrailers, googlevideo, html5, metacafe, myspace, revver, 
sevenload, viddler, vimeo, youku, youtube
width = 560, height = 340, Video ID = Can be obtained from the URL of webpage where the video is displayed.
e.g In the following url '' Video ID is 'Y0US7oR_t3M'.

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  • Read Divorce Act of Uganda Capt 249 to have a grasp of what is required before you can embark of the process to obtain a divorce decree.
Here below are some grounds for divorce.
  • Adultery
  • Desertion
  • Cruelty
  • Incurable insanity (proof of failed treatment for at least five years)
  • Wife or husband found guilty of rape ,sodomy, bestiality
  • Seek further advice from an advocate on what is required to successfully launch a divorce petition (optional)
  • You should have sufficient reasons to convince the court for a need to divorce, particularly if three years have not elapsed.
  • You then present your case through a divorce petition which is supported by an affidavit

Required Information[edit]

  • Full name of the applicant
  • Residential Address of the applicant
  • Occupation of the applicant
  • Citizenship
  • Proof of marriage
  • Number and names of children from the marriage
  • File petition stating the ground for the divorce

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Need for the Document[edit]

  • A divorce decree is the court's final ruling and judgment order that makes the termination of a marriage official.

Information which might help[edit]

  • A divorce decree is a court document that is a final judgment from divorce court. It contains information about your case, including spousal support, child support, custody, visitation, property division, and other information. Most divorce decrees are thorough and contain all of the agreed-upon information in your case, such as who is responsible for getting life and health insurance, if the wife can take her maiden name again, and how you will divide your debt.
  • Only a court can issue a divorce decree. You receive it at the end of your case. If your case went to trial, your divorce decree will indicate the terms of the judge's decision and will act as a judgment that both parties must obey.
  • If you didn't go to trial but settled your case instead, the divorce decree will contain the terms of the settlement. The decree still acts as a final judgment, but you and your former spouse have decided upon the terms of your own divorce without the court's input. Settling your case takes the decision out of the hands of the judge so long as the decision is not outrageous or one-sided. If it's one-sided, the judge will usually intervene to help you work out the terms of your settlement.

Other uses of the Document/Certificate[edit]

  • Your former spouse will have obligations created by the decree, such as paying spousal support, child support, or obtaining insurance policies. You'll need to make sure your former spouse is complying with the decree.

External Links[edit]

Republic of Uganda

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The divorce certificate is issued by your state for record-keeping purposes, as opposed to the divorce decree, meaning a final, enforceable order by the court that you and your spouse must follow. It resolves all of the issues that were part of your divorce..