Judge rejects maintenance plea from woman in divorce case

The woman claimed that her ex-husband, a former police officer, introduced other women into their marriage in 2009 and 2012. [iStockphoto]

A court has denied a woman's request for maintenance from her ex-husband.

Eldoret High Court Judge Reuben Nyakundi, in a judgment last week, said that when spouses have no children who depend on them, there is no advantage for either party.

The judge declared that the traditional view of men as sole breadwinners and responsible for their spouses' support is outdated.

"The issues that the union was blessed with are all adults, with the youngest being 26 years of age, and therefore, there are no children requiring the support of the parents. I have considered the submissions of the petitioner on alimony and find no grounds to grant the prayer for alimony or maintenance,” the judge ruled.

According to the woman's petition, the couple married on August 9, 1975, under the African Marriage and Divorce Act at Cheptiret Catholic Mission in Nandi County.

The woman later sought an end to the union on the grounds of adultery, cruelty, and desertion. She requested the court to dissolve the marriage, divide the property, and grant alimony and maintenance.

During the hearing, the woman said that her ex-husband, a former police officer, introduced other women into their marriage in 2009 and 2012. She accused him of having a bad temper and being arrogant, contemptuous and abusive.

She also testified that he left their home in 2006 to live with other women. According to her, their differences were irreconcilable, and the marriage had broken down irretrievably.

The man contested the petition, denying the adultery claims and arguing that the evidence was hearsay.

His lawyer contended that he never deserted their home in 2006; instead, the woman left when he was sick and bedridden.

The judge, after reviewing both parties' submissions, concluded that they could not maintain a loving relationship.

"What emerges from the proceedings is that the petitioner does not want to be in the union with the respondent as she believes he is an adulterous man and that he has been cruel to her over the years. I agree with the petitioner that trying to resuscitate this union would be akin to flogging a dead horse. In the premises, it is my view that the marriage has irretrievably broken down,” the judge ruled.

The court refused to order property division, stating that such requests should be made through a High Court application after obtaining a 'decree absolute' confirming the divorce.

[email protected]