High Court makes important ruling for married couples

Kenya has been using a law created in 1882 from England.

The court has ruled that couples will only be entitled to shares contributed during marriage and not on a 50/50 basis division in case of a divorce.

This means that couples will only share what would have accrued during their stay together, and not collectively spilt into halve, anything owned by the two.

The women lawyers’ lobby Fida Kenya, has lost a court battle to have marriage partners automatically share wealth on 50:50 basis upon divorce.

The High Court on Monday rejected Federation of Women Lawyers’ application to declare the Marriage and Properties Act unconstitutional.

The judge ruled that parties to a marriage are entitled to their individual share of contribution to family wealth. The ruling follows a string of controversies, in which most divorcees, demand sharing ‘all’ the property, which may not have necessarily been accrued during the marriage time.

Courts have for years settled differences between husbands and wives over the sharing of matrimonial property after the collapse of their marriages. Others opt out-of-court settlement, due to lack clarity on the law.

Kenyan courts have been using an archaic law, having been enacted in England in 1882 and inherited as a statute of general application in Kenya

A lobby group, Fida Kenya, has gone to court to demand a 50-50 share of property in case of a divorce.


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