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ELECTION 2022

Judge orders man to care for ex-wife's children who were born out of wedlock

NATIONAL
By Kamau Muthoni | May 10th 2022 | 3 min read

 

A young woman overwhelmed by emotions after an argument with her boyfriend. [Getty Images]

 

A man will continue raising two minors his former wife got from a different relationship, the High Court has ruled.

Although the father of three complained his ex-wife hid from him about carrying the pregnancy of another man, the court found that he had assumed parental responsibility and given the last born his own name.

Justice Aggrey Muchelule declined to set aside the Children’s Court order that the man codenamed EKTM, should continue parenting the minors.

However, he gave the man a reprieve by setting aside an order requiring him to pay Sh30,000 on top of providing their school fees and medical expenses.

In the case, it emerged that out of the three children, only one, the second born, was the biological child of EKTM whose former wife is codenamed ECC in court papers.

“The respondent’s (ECC) evidence was that when she met the appellant (EKTM), she was five months pregnant. The pregnancy was discussed and the appellant accepted to take up responsibility. They later begun to live together as husband and wife. The trial court considered the rival versions and accepted that of the respondent. I find no reason to disturb that finding,” said Justice Muchelule..

According to court record, ECC came into the marriage while she was five months pregnant from a previous relationship. However, the man accepted to raise this child as his own.

It is the last child that broke the camel’s back in a union the judge observed was rocky even before the two settled down together.

EKTM narrated that the breakup between them was when he discovered that the last-born was not his biological child. He stated that this minor rekindled differences of their first born who was born out of wedlock. 

The two met on July 29, 2006 and begun to live together as husband and wife in September of the same year.

However, the marriage was tumultuous but still on November 11, 2016, the couple formalised their relationship in a ceremony at the Attorney General’s Office.

On December 18, 2018, ECC filed for judicial separation, and in 2019 her ex-husband petitioned for the dissolution of the marriage. The couple is divorced.

In the case, the man argued that the magistrate’s court erred by finding that he should solely bear the burden of raising the two children who were not his biological children. He asserted that they had fathers who needed to be compelled to cater for their needs.

Monthly upkeep

At the same time, he contested an order that he should pay Sh30,000 monthly for their upkeep.

He also asked the judge to find that he should only be ordered to meet all the needs of the only biological child in their former marriage.

The other order sought by the man was that he had given the minors enough by providing house rent, medical expenses, school fees and school related expenses.

He asked the court to set aside the order requiring him to be taking the last born with him during weekends and school holidays.

In her reply, the woman admitted that two of the children were not from her ex-husband. According to her, they married when she was five months pregnant with another man but her ex-husband agreed to give the child his name and raise her as his own.

At the same time, she conceded that while the marriage was subsisting, she had a relationship with another man. She conceived the last child born.

The court heard that paternity was part of the reason why the parties were at loggerheads. In the end, Justice Muchelule only set aside the order requiring him to pay Sh30,000 for upkeep.

“It makes sense to note that the needs of the child must be reasonable and moderate and should relate to the standards of the parents. The needs of the child should not be such that, at the end of the day, the parents are left in financial stress,” said the judge.

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