Divorce Law and its application-NAIROBI-KENYA

Divorce lawyers help their clients find an amicable resolution to their end of marriage. There are many questions surrounding divorce and this article attempts to answer some of them.

When is it possible to obtain a divorce in Kenya?

A divorce can be obtained after being married under any recognized system of law.

Is it possible to get a divorce before three years have passed?

The Kenyan courts have made rulings allowing spouses to divorce before three years have passed.

Is it necessary to obtain a court divorce?

In Kenya, the court has the authority to dissolve marriages. Parties must petition the court for divorce in Muslim, Hindu, Christian, African Customary, and Civil marriages. The Kadhis’ Courts issue divorce decrees in Muslim marriages as specified in the Constitution of Kenya.

What are the documents involved in a divorce?

The divorce papers include:

  1. Petition for divorce
  2. Verifying Affidavit
  3. Duly authenticated copy of the Certificate of Marriage
  4. List of witnesses (if any)
  5. Written witness statements (if any)
  6. Duly authenticated copies of evidential documents (if any) to be relied upon during the petition’s hearing.

What is the process of getting a divorce?

The simplified steps to obtain a divorce decree in Kenya are as follows:

  1. The Petitioner prepares the divorce petition and attaches the required divorce papers.
  2. The petition is filed in court, and the Respondent is served with the divorce papers and required to enter appearance.
  3. The Respondent has a specific time to file their answer to the petition and any cross-petition.
  4. The Petitioner may file an answer to the cross-petition, and then the pleadings close.
  5. After the close of pleadings, the Petitioner may request a certificate from the court to proceed to the hearing stage.
  6. Once the certificate is issued, a hearing date is granted.
  7. If the court is satisfied, it issues a decree nisi, which becomes a decree absolute after 30 days, finalizing the divorce.

What are the grounds for obtaining a decree absolute in divorce?

Grounds for divorce in Kenya include cruelty, adultery, extreme depravity, irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, and desertion.

Where can I find the divorce laws of Kenya?

The marriage and divorce laws of Kenya are contained in the Marriage Act and the Matrimonial Property Act, which also include matrimonial laws and case law that can be found on Eklr.

What is a divorce decree?

A divorce decree is a legal pronouncement/order by a court that dissolves a marriage. Initially, a decree nisi is issued, which is later confirmed as a decree absolute, indicating that the divorce is finalized and the parties are no longer married.

How do I file for divorce?

To file for divorce, a person usually submits a petition in the magistrates’ court.

What is a divorce petition and its purpose?

A divorce petition is one of the required documents filed in court, serving as a request to dissolve the marriage based on the grounds stated in the petition.

What is the difference between separation and divorce?

Separation is a court order to live apart (often referred to as a limited divorce), while divorce is the legal process of permanently dissolving the marriage.

How can I obtain a divorce for a civil marriage?

To obtain a divorce for a civil marriage, one must file a petition for divorce in court. Grounds for divorce may include desertion, cruelty, depravity, and irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.

Can I enter into a separation agreement with my spouse?

Yes, under Section 14 of the Marriage Act, parties to a civil marriage can agree to live apart for one year. Such an agreement is valid and enforceable, and legal separation papers should be filed with the court.

What is a contested divorce?

A contested divorce is one in which the respondent disputes the grounds for divorce stated by the petitioner in the petition. It may

Margaret Muthiii

Legal expert in Family Law including Divorce, Custody and Succession, Business Premises and Rent Tribunal, Corporate law, Mediation and Arbitration.

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