The High Court has ruled against a petition that sought to have spouses share matrimonial property on a fifty fifty basis in the event of a divorce.
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.
The Federation of Women Lawyers had wanted the matrimonial properties act to be declared unconstitutional, and couples to be entitled to 50-50 arrangement.
This happened barely 48 hours after the court of appeal declined to make a determination in an alimony case by a British couple living in Kenya citing lack of jurisdiction.
In the landmark ruling Justice John Mativo, ruled matrimonial property can only be shared on the basis of individual contributions.
Judge Mativo was quoted as saying, “a person cannot walk into a marriage and then walk out with more than what they deserve.”
The ruling presents a legal setback to FIDA who sought the removal of section 45 (3) of the marriage and Property Act to allow spouses to share wealth on a 50-50 basis regardless of their contribution. He ruled fortune seekers could exploit the law for their selfish gains.
The organization argued there has been a failure to recognize or reward a spouse whose contribution to the family has been performing household course, bearing and raising children or a spouse who uses his/her resources for the day to day expenses.