Can my hubby's mistresses disinherit me? - Evewoman

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Can my hubby's mistresses disinherit me?


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Dear Harold,

We got married under customary law and have three sons. My husband and I contributed to purchase land where we built our home but the land is registered under his name.

Unfortunately, he has been unfaithful over the years and I suspect he recently married his mistress. I have also discovered he sired children with women he had been going out with and has been supporting them financially. My worry is the fate of our property should we divorce or he unfortunately passes away. What can I do to salvage my interest in the investment?

Pam, Eldoret


Dear Pamela,

Customary marriages are predominantly polygamous and in the event that your husband (unfortunately) dies, the prolonged battle over ownership of property may end up in court. In most cases, courts would divide the property according to the number of children in each house although some may give priority to the wife who was married when they acquired the property in line with the new Matrimonial Property Act.

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It would be harder for you if your husband maintains mistresses and children he fathered out of wedlock as the law may assume that they are also heirs to property registered under his name. Therefore, to avoid legal tussles, it would be better for you to be included in the title deed as a registered joint owner. Currently, should you divorce, the court may require you to prove your financial contribution by producing receipts towards purchasing the property before ruling on your stake.

Another alternative is to convince your husband to register the property in the names of your three children to avoid possible legal tussles with mistresses and children your husband fathered during his string of affairs.

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