July 20, 2018

50-50 wealth share after divorce no more, High Court rules

There will be no 50-5- sharing of wealth in the event marriage is dissolved. [courtesy]

A High Court ruling yesterday on sharing of matrimonial wealth in the event of a divorce dealt a blow to women in the country.

In the petition that had been lodged by the Federation of Federation of Women Lawyer (Fida), the organization argued  that the constitutionality of Section 7 of the Matrimonial Properties Act had been breached.

Fida argued that Section 7 cripple Article 45 (3) of the Constitution which provides that parties to a marriage are entitled to equal rights at the start, during and at the dissolution of marriage.

The organization also argued that in the event of a divorce, women are unfairly discriminated against men.

However, Justice John Mativo categorically stated that the Constitution only recognizes equal worth and equal importance of parties in a marriage.

He said in the event of a divorce, a spouse-be it the man or woman, will only be entitled to what he/she contributed to during the marriage.

He said this principle gives a clear guidance on equality in marriage.

“The beneficial share of each spouse as the law on the division of matrimonial property stands in Kenya ultimately depends on the parties’ proven respective proportions of the financial contributions either direct or indirect towards the acquisition of the property,” opined the judge according to the Star.

“I find and hold the petitioner does not qualify for any of the reliefs sought. in the circumstances i dismiss the petition,” he added. ruling

Monday’s ruling by the High Court came a while after a landmark ruling by the Supreme Court whereby a few days ago.

The Apex court stamped its authority in stating that estranged wives had a right to receive alimony from their ex-husbands whether they have moved on or not.

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