Kenya’s Court of Appeal has reportedly ruled that no spouse is entitled to half of the other's property upon divorce.
According to Tuko.co.ke, the appellate court’s ruling was in response to a case in which a woman identified as BMM was awarded 50% of property in Kenya and the United Kingdom (UK).
The Court of Appeal has overturned the High Court ruling which favoured the woman, ordering it be heard afresh, the news website further reported.
The High Court presided over by Justice William Musyoka had earlier pronounced that married partners would automatically get 50% of property in case they want to go their separate ways.
But three Court of Appeal judges Hannah Okwengu, Patrick Kiage and Sankale ole Kantai said it was wrong for Musyoka to make such a decree, saying it was a misapplication of the law.
In the view of the Court of Appeal, Article 45(3) in the Kenyan 2010 Constitution on equality of spouses which Musyoka relied on does not involve the re-distribution of property rights at the dissolution of marriage.
“The stated equality means the courts have to ensure divorced couples get their fair share of the property in case there is a dissolution of marriage. This has to be in accordance with their respective contribution. It does not involve denying a party their due share by giving such party more than he or she contributed,” Tuko.co.ke quoted part of the judgment as saying.
Therefore, the hope of madam BMM who got a favourable ruling in the High Court has been dashed as the Court of Appeal has referred the matter back to the Family Division Court and further ordered that it be heard afresh by another judge.
In Ghana, it is not a straightforward matter. A partner must prove that he or she contributed to the obtaining of the property they seek to share with the other party.