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Blow as court rejects 50/50 wealth split on divorce

Blow as court rejects 50/50 wealth split on divorce”

The High Court through Justice John Mativo ruled that matrimonial property can only be shared on the basis of individual contributions as specified in the law.

A Kenyan High Court has ruled against a petition to change a clause in the Marriage Act which limits divorced couples to only claim ownership to assets they have acquired during the relationship, local media reports.

It wanted spouses to split the property equally, but the judge said this would open the door for people to enter into marriages and walk out in the event of divorce with more than they deserve.

Fida had gone to court to seek for removal of Section 45 (3) of the Marriage and Property Act, which explains how wealth should be shared between spouses upon divorce.

The Federation of Women lawyer (Fida) is not happy with the ruling and has promised to challenge it calling it unfair discrimination against women.

Others, it argued, use their resources for the day-to-day subsistence requirements of the family, and are therefore deprived of the opportunity to acquire durable property.

The petitioner based the argument on the non-monetary nature of contribution made by married women in raising families and maintaining their homes. Fida said it will appeal the court's decision.

"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", the judge said.

The court said the law talks of parties to a marriage, which means both men and women, and does not specifically refer to women.



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