How long does divorce process take in kenya? Get the Facts

We live in Africa, where marriage is or atleast used to be the most important institution in humans. Back in the days of our parents, marriage was not only between a husband and wife but was between extended family and  communities. As the world grows, so are the problems with marriage, Africans have adopted the western culture which according to the so called "Africanists" has destroyed the marriage institution and made it meaningless.

Before the formal marriage thing, divorce was considered a bad thing and no one would dare even talk about it, but with the formalities of marriage being put straight, then the law comes in. In Kenya, for instance, the divorce process is one of the longest and tiring processes ever, if your relationship has reached that point, then it is wise to get the facts and advice before you start the process.

NOTE: One thing to note is that Marriage in Kenya is only considered to be between a Man and

Recognized Marriages

Christian marriages;
Civil marriages;
Customary marriages;
Hindu marriages;
Islamic marriages; and
Marriages by other faiths or groups.

Reason/Grounds for Divorce

Before you even start the process, you must know and be sure as to why you need to divorce. According to the law, these are the reasons that are considered as grounds for divorce.

Grounds of divorce for Christian marriages

(a) one or more acts of adultery committed by the other party;
(b) cruelty, whether mental or physical, inflicted by the other party on the petitioner or on the children, if any, of the marriage; or
(c) desertion by either party for at least three years immediately preceding the date of presentation of the petition.

Grounds for divorce for customary marriages

(a) adultery;
(b) cruelty;
(c) desertion; or
(d) any valid ground under the customary law of the petitioner.

Ground of divorce for Hindu marriages

(a) the marriage has irretrievably broken down;
(b) the other party has deserted the petitioner for at least three years before the making of the petition;
(c) the other party has converted to another religion;
(d) since the celebration of the marriage, the other party has committed rape, sodomy, bestiality or adultery.

Grounds of divorce for Islamic marriages- governed by Islamic law

16. Promise to marry another person is not binding but damages suffered by the other party may be recoverable against the party who refuses to honour a promise to marry.

Grounds for maintenance

(a) if the person has refused or neglected to provide for the spouse or former spouse as required by the Act;
(b) if the person has deserted the other spouse or former spouse, for as long as the desertion continues;
(c) during the course of any matrimonial proceedings;
(d) when granting or after granting a decree of separation or divorce; or
(e) if, after making a decree of presumption of death, the spouse or former is found to be alive.

The Divorce Process

Draw a petition that clearly states the grounds for divorce.

You (the petitioner) will then be required to serve the petition and the notice to appear in court to the Respondent, either personally or through a post office.

The respondent may also file another petition to dissolve the marriage, and after the papers have been exchanged, the registrar of the court sets the date for hearing.

If the court is satisfied with the petition, marriage dissolution will be granted.
The dissolution takes full effect after six months, after which parties are allowed to remarry.

It is important you read the matrimonial Causes Act, Chapter 152 to help you in filing for the divorce decree.

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