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Law Reform Commission withdraws Cohabitation from Marriage and Divorce bill

The Uganda Law Reform Commission has promised to strike out all clauses in the Marriage and Divorce Bill that are related to property rights of cohabiting couples.

the Marriage and Divorce bill had sought to protect many unofficially married women

This follows intense criticism of the sections in the Marriage and Divorce bill that gave rights of married people to cohabiting couples after a man and woman spend together more than 10 years.

A Senior Legal Officer of the commission, Kenneth Rutaremwa says though the recognition of property rights of cohabiting couples under section 133 does not necessarily mean that the law recognizes
cohabitation as a legal form of marriage, still the commission has decided to strike out such recognition of property rights for cohabiting couples from the bill.

Rutaremwa says besides even the definition of cohabitation in the bill as meaning a man and woman living together as husband and wife cannot legally stand since under the law, only legally married couples can be referred to as husband and wife.

He says because of the outcry of the public to have the law not recognizing cohabitation on the same level as marriage, the law reform Commission has decided to strike all these clauses related to cohabitation from the bill.

By Tiberindwa Zacharia, Ultimate Media

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