High Court Dismisses Equal Wealth Sharing After Divorce

May 15, 2018

The High Court has dismissed a case seeking to have married couples share their wealth equally in the event of a divorce.

Justice John Mativo, in a landmark ruling on Monday, threw out the petition by the women’s rights organization – FIDA. The Federation of Women Lawyers had challenged the constitutionality of Section 7 of the Matrimonial Properties Act.

They wanted section 45 (3) of the Marriage and Property Act, which states that couples should get what they contribute, declared unconstitutional.

The organisation argued that parties to a marriage are entitled to equal rights at the start, during and at the dissolution of marriage. Fida further submitted that the law unfairly discriminates against women, arguing that the gender suffers most after divorce.

They, therefore, wanted the court to rule in favour of 50-50 sharing of wealth.

But the Judge said: “A person cannot walk into a marriage and then walk out with more than what they deserve.”

Justice Mativo further ruled that the section does not offend any sections of the Constitution as alleged by Fida nor does the section contradict any of the provision of the Act.

“I find and hold the petitioner does not qualify for any of the reliefs sought. In the circumstances, I dismiss the petition,” ruled Mativo.

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