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Marriage doesn’t warrant automatic 50% shares of property

By: Melanie Aanyu

Aanyu Melanie | 95timefm

The Court of Appeal in Kampala has redefined matrimonial property rights for spouses in Uganda in its recent judgement.

In a judgement delivered today, November, 15, three Justices of the Court of Appeal including Elizabeth Musoke, Muzamiru Kibeedi and Christopher Gashirabake made pronouncements with far reaching consequences on the rights of married persons in matrimonial properties when they divorce.

The declaration stemmed from a  2014 case in which  the High  Court directed that  Joseph Ambayo Waigo give 50% of the property owned while in marriage with Jackline Aserua after the couple separated.

Justice Catherine Bamugemereire who handled the matter then ruled that Aserua was entitled to 50% of the property or its monetary value after separation of the couple.

However, Ambayo appealed against the judgment prompting the Court of Appeal to pronounce itself on the matter on Tuesday.

The three justices of the court ruled that it is not automatic for a spouse to take 50% of property unless there is evidence to show he or she worked for it.

The justices said there is need to evaluate the kind of contribution rendered by each spouse in the marriage in order to ascertain its worth and ought to be paid for on separation.