Court declares multi-million-shilling flat in UK matrimonial property

A multi-million shilling property in an affluent UK city will be shared by a Kenyan couple after a court declared it a matrimonial property.

High Court Judge Mugure Thande has declared that the couple, whose love blossomed in the early 1990s and came crashing down years later, is to share the property situated in the suburb of Bristol City, UK, after battling in court for more than a decade.

The flat was purchased at the beginning of their marriage that ended in divorce. Justice Thande declared that the man, identified in court papers as TJF, holds an interest of 60 per cent in the property, while his ex-wife, identified as AWF, owns 40 per cent.

The same formula is to be used to share a restaurant in Mombasa’s Mtwapa area. Thande said she arrived at the formula after deliberating on the contributions made by each party during the marriage.

“Joint ownership of matrimonial property by spouses and acquisition of the same during the subsistence of their marriage does not mean that ownership vests in them in equal shares. Ownership of matrimonial property by each spouse is proportionate to the contribution made to the acquisition of the same,” said Thande.

For a property to qualify as matrimonial property, the judge said in the decision delivered on May 22, it must constitute the matrimonial home or household goods in the matrimonial home or homes of spouses.

Any other property acquired during the subsistence of the marriage and jointly owned by spouses also constitute matrimonial property.

In Bristol City, a one-bedroom flat goes for Sh27.8 million, a two-bedroom for Sh37.5 million, while those intending to purchase a four-bedroom flat must part with Sh104 million.

The couple met in the UK after the man divorced his first wife and decided to get married a second time in Bristol in 1993, where the woman worked as a nurse. The woman had requested the court to award her a 50 per cent share of the properties.