Divorce in Cameroon: Cost & Legal Process/Marriage Penal Code Law

 Getting a divorce in Cameroon is not as easy as getting married. One cannot just wake up and ask the court for a divorce without such reason falling under the grounds stipulated by the Matrimonial Act of 1973, which provides the framework for divorce processes in Cameroon. 

A decree of dissolution of marriage shall not be made if the petitioner, in bringing or prosecuting the proceedings, has been guilty of collusion with intent to cause a perversion of justice. Even when both husband and wife mutually agree to get a divorce for whatever reason, a decree of dissolution of marriage may still not be granted if there is evidence of collusion between them. 

Read Also: How to Become a Lawyer in Cameroon?

 The Cameroonian Court regards divorce as a delicate affair; it also supports the institution by giving consideration, from time to time, to the possibility of a reconciliation of the parties to the marriage (unless the proceedings are of such a nature that it would not be appropriate to do so). 

If the final decision is the option of a divorce, there are some prerequisites one must follow that will be discussed hereunder.

Suggested: Salaries of Lawyers in Cameroon.

How to Get a Divorce in Cameroon? (Procedure)

Once you have decided to get a divorce, you will need to do the following:

  1. Hire a family lawyer to accompany you through this lengthy process. The lawyer's role is to file a petition for divorce before the customary or High Court or customary court. 
  2. The lawyer must state the reasons or grounds for divorce.
  3. State the number of issues from the marriage and their various ages.
  4. The petition must state the regime of marriage, whether monogamous or polygamous. The relevant marriage certificate should be presented.
  5. The petition must state the properties they acquired together and any other facts proving that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.
  6.  The court shall then study the documents and, in its discretion, grant an order nisi; this will be made absolute in six months.
  7. Once the order nisi is made absolute, the divorce or marriage ends.

Consulting a Lawyer

After deciding to get a divorce, the first thing to do is consult and brief a divorce lawyer about the divorce. 

A lawyer will help determine the facts that constitute the ground for the divorce from the reasons given by the person seeking a divorce. 

From your discussion with the lawyer, it is discovered that you have more than one fact that constitutes a ground for divorce; your lawyer would advise you regarding the fact that has the most substantial evidence with proof. 

Cost of Getting a Divorce in Cameroon

When getting a divorce in Cameroon, there are two fees: The court Fee and the Professional legal fees. Under Cameroonian law or Penal Code, you cannot sign an agreement for divorce to get a divorce.

For the divorce to be legal, it would have to be granted by a court via a court judgment.

To file in for a divorce, specific statutory fees like the filing fee, etc., must be paid. It might vary from one high court to another, but this fee is mandatory.

Divorce fees vary in Cameroon. Divorce fees range from 100,000 FCFA to 500,000 FCFA, or more depending on many factors.

Custody of Children

In considering the custody of children in a broken marriage, efforts must be made to ensure that such children are not denied the care, love and affection of either parent. 

Where one of the parents deliberately placed obstacles towards attaining such parental love and affection, he will be violating the child's right under the Child Rights Act

The welfare of children of a marriage that has broken down ultimately is not only of paramount consideration but a condition precedent for the award of custody. This invariably means that custody of children is never awarded as a reward for good conduct, nor is it denied as punishment for the guilty party's matrimonial offences. 

When the children are of tender age, there is no assurance that custody of children will be granted to the mother.


Divorce in Cameroon remains the only recognized legal way of bringing a lawfully contracted marriage to an end.

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