Filing for divorce in Kenya: The laws in Kenya provide grounds under which married couples can dissolve their marriage. The divorce process can be long and expensive depending on several determining factors. Here is a look at factors that determine the waiting time for a divorce and the stages involved in filing for a divorce.
The length of a divorce in Kenya is determined by three main factors: mandatory waiting time, degree of conflict, and the complexity of the divorce.
Mandatory Waiting Time
When parties want to divorce in Kenya, the law requires them to first live separately for some time before filing a divorce petition. There is also a mandatory waiting period beginning from when one files their petition to the time the court makes a ruling on a divorce. The waiting period is between 1-3 months with some cases lasting for up to one year. The waiting period gives couples time to reconcile thereby reducing unnecessary divorces. Couples with children also have a chance to find ways of co-parenting and come up with convenient arrangements to reduce the negative impact that the separation will have on their children.
Degree of Conflict
The degree of conflict involved in marriage dissolution also affects the duration of a divorce. If both parties agree that they should divorce, the process will go ahead uncontested and it will be finalized quickly. However, if the couple disagrees on issues such as wealth division, child custody, or child support, the divorce will last longer.
Complexity of the Divorce
The issues surrounding marriage dissolution will also determine the duration of the divorce. Issues like possession of high-profile assets, parenting complications, and nationality problems can extend the time it takes to finalize a divorce settlement.
Steps Involved In a Divorce
- Find a Good Lawyer
You need to hire a good divorce or family lawyer to present your case. Your lawyer will determine whether you have sufficient grounds to file for a divorce as per the Marriage Act. Since divorce cases are based on pertinent issues such as sharing assets, child upkeep, and alimony, having a seasoned lawyer will help you get a favorable judgment.
- Waiting Period
After your case is filed in court, you will have six months to decide if you are going to reconcile with your partner or proceed with the divorce. During this period, it is advisable to consult a family psychologist or village elders to determine whether you can resolve your marital conflicts.
After the waiting period lapses, you and your spouse will attend a court hearing to determine issues such as asset division and child upkeep. The court will make a ruling based on the arguments of both parties. After the court’s ruling, both parties will be given orders that they should uphold failure to which they may be fined or face significant penalties.
To understand the divorce process in Kenya read the Marriage Act of 2014.