Marriage is no longer sacred like in the olden days, it’s now a possible business opportunity for those who hope to climb the social ladder in no time. A person’s riches, not their looks, are the most important if they need to settle down. When you make a promise to love, honor and cherish another person, the faithfulness implied doesn’t have a thing to do with money. Many people get into marriages with the expectation of coming out richer than they got in; this has seen families break up within a short period of marriage.
Kenya takes a new lead on property sharing when it comes to divorce, the notion of getting out with half the wealth is deemed null even though the constitution recognizes equality between men and women, in marriage it doesn’t guaranty a 50-50 sharing of matrimonial wealth. So think twice before you enter into a marriage planning to walk out half richer of what your partner labored to acquire once the marriage is dissolved.
The financial aspects of marriage vary between cultures and have changed over time. In some cultures, dowries and bride wealth continue to be required today. In both cases, the financial arrangements are usually made between the groom and the bride’s family; with the bride often to be involved in the negotiations. This has seen those with an eye of wealth as for huge amounts of money, livestock and material possession with the hopes of improving their living standards.
Marriage is not a ticket to equal sharing of matrimonial property, Justice Patrick Kiage noted while delivering a judgment in an appeal on a separated couple fighting over property. He said that once marriage is over, each partner should walk away with the share of what they contributed.
The reality remains that when marriage comes to an end, the awful business of division and distribution of matrimonial property must proceed on the basis of fairness and conscience, not a romantic clutching of 50-50 system.
But this is a controversial topic, the contribution of women in marriages is usually not quantifiable; the contribution of a woman is in kind, and how do you give back such an investment? Considering that all the properties acquired during marriage is usually considered marital property regardless of which spouse owns it or how the property is titled has been the drive behind the 50-50 sharing of the property. But then will the change of this law lead to low marriages in the country considering many people marry or get married on the basis of financial capability?
Written by Amina Martha.