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Margaret Kobia supports women’s non-monetary contributions in divorce

By Wangu Kanuri January 30th, 2023 2 min read

Former Cabinet Secretary for the Public Service, Youth, and Gender Affairs Margaret Kobia has weighed in on the Supreme Court ruling on sharing properties during a divorce.

In a tweet, Kobia shared that women should not be disadvantaged and their non-monetary contributions to the marriage should stand their ground in the event of a divorce.

“Regarding the supreme court ruling on sharing of properties during a divorce based on what each party contributed needs careful examination. Women should not be disadvantaged. Contributions made by women need to include costed unpaid care work, including psychological support.”

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Her sentiments come days after the apex court ruled that there will no longer be a 50-50 per cent sharing of matrimonial property after divorce.

Declaring that the 50:50 formula is not absolutely applicable, the Supreme court stated that in the event of a divorce, each party should leave the marriage with the property he or she acquired during the union though a spouse may get more based on his or her contribution to the acquisition of the matrimonial wealth.

The five-judge bench led by deputy chief justice Philomena Mwilu also held that each partner in marriage must prove his or her contribution to the family wealth to enable a court to determine the percentage available to him or her at the distribution of the matrimonial property.

The judges ruled that the provisions of Article 45(3) of the Constitution on equality in a marriage do not entitle any court to vary existing proprietary rights of parties.

The court added that the said provisions only act as a means of providing for equality at the time of dissolution of marriage with each party being entitled to their fair share of matrimonial property.

“What amounts to a fair and equitable legal formula for the reallocation of matrimonial property rights at the dissolution of a marriage and whether the same can be achieved by a fixed means of apportionment at a 50:50 ratio should be done in light of the circumstances of each individual case.”

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