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The courts have been struggling on the question of whether spouses should split matrimonial property equally upon divorce.
The Court of Appeal judges have overturned two precedent-setting judgments that had ordered for 50:50 division of matrimonial properties.
The second-highest court in Kenya overturned the judgments made by the High Court and settled on sharing of properties based on each spouse’s contribution.
The courts have been struggling on the question of whether spouses should split matrimonial property equally upon divorce, and the issue is also pending determination at the Supreme Court.
According to Matrimonial Property Act (2013), “ownership of matrimonial property vests in the spouses according to the contribution of either spouse towards its acquisition, and shall be divided between the spouses if they divorce or their marriage is otherwise dissolved.”
In one of the annulled judgements, the appellate judges granted the woman a 10 percent share of the value of a matrimonial home only and explained that the man was entitled to 90 percent because evidence showed he paid for the property in full with no monetary contribution by the wife at all.
The appellate court noted that there was no child born from the couple’s union, hence the woman’s contribution would only fall under “companionship”.
This is because even household chores like purchases at the supermarket were undertaken by a house help and the man’s driver.
Evidence in court indicates that the couple married in 2007 as a widow with one child and widower with three grown-up children.
Before their divorce the woman had planned to eliminate the husband so as to acquire his property, witnesses testified. – businessdailyafrica.com