When we think about Family, it’s not just Father, Mother and children as we have often acquainted ourselves with! A Family is an institution that starts right from Marriage and spreads out like a Mustard tree, that entails;
- Relationships of parent to parent, children to children and parent to children,
- Ownership of business, property like land, buildings etc.
- External relationships
We understand that all other aspects and department of law like land, criminal, civil and commercial transaction cannot escape being intertwined with family law and domestic relations.
To fully exhaust the aspect of family we have to go back to the source and roots which is marriage. Marriage has many definitions but it is also defined to mean the voluntary union for life of a man and a woman.
The constitution o Uganda provides that Men and Women of age of 18years and above have a right to marry and form a family.
In Uganda we have Four Major types of marriages which are;
- Civil marriage; which entails court marriage and church marriage.
- Mohammadan Marriage ;which is Islamic marriage
- Customary Marriage; which is celebrate according to the customs of Uganda.
- Hindu Marriage; which is celebrated according to the Indian customs
Even after you have celebrated your marriage in any form of celebration as listed above, it’s important to make known to the government about the celebration by registering your Marriage with the registrar of marriages at Uganda registration statics bureau (URSB). It’s very pertinent to register your marriage with URSB otherwise if the government doesn’t have record of your marriage in their registry then the marriage doesn’t exist. The state is responsible for the citizens of Uganda and therefore should be made aware of any developments in their lives.
As a family lawyer I received a coupled that was shocked after discovering that the marriage they thought had existed for about 30 years was just but a mere whim, because it had not been registered with the state. And they could not actually fly together out of the country as married but as singles and they had to declare that they are single.