High Court deals women a huge blow in landmark divorce ruling

Planning to divorce your spouse? This is how much it will cost you

Planning to divorce your spouse? This is how much it will cost you

Gold diggers: Better think twice.

The organisation wanted the court to have the law repealed so that spouses can share wealth on a 50/50 basis, regardless of their contributions during the marriage.

The judge argued it would not be reasonable for an individual to enter into a marriage empty handed, contribute nothing and then walk out of the marriage with half of the family's wealth.

But that does not guarantee a 50-50 for those who think marriage is their ticket to equal sharing of wealth.

Justice John Mativo in his ruling said, although the constitution recognizes equality between a man and a woman in marriage, matrimonial property should not be a loophole that will be exploited by fortune seekers to reap where they did not sow.

Fida was concerned that women were disadvantaged by the law as, since majority are housewives, their contribution to the acquisition of property can not be monetised.

Planning to divorce your spouse? This is how much it will cost you

The judge said courts will evaluate the evidence by each spouse regarding their monetary and non-monetary contributions and make a just and equitable distribution of properties in dispute.

Justice Mativo further ruled that the section does not offend any sections of the Constitution.

On September 2016, Fida, an organization that fights for the rights of Kenyan women filed a petition to do away with the Matrimonial Property Act saying it was unconstitutional.

Reacting to the decision, lawyer John Chigiti said, "Many times a spouse who is not contributing financially is normally the spouse who is contributing indirectly in form of taking care of children, estates, properties and love".

The court said that the issue was "a family affair".

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