Steps To Follow When Filing For A Divorce In Kenya: The Marriage Act of Kenya, 2014 provides for the various forms of marriages, their definitions and their processes of dissolution which include Christian marriage, Civil marriage, customary marriage, Hindu Marriage, Islam marriage. In this article, we shall look at the court process you should follow when filing for a divorce.
A divorce is a court’s declaration that the marriage between two people has ended, and responsibility for any children involved.
Alternative dispute resolution is recognized in the Marriage Act 2014 as a means of resolving disputes in a marriage before one initiate the process of divorce which this procedure must be in conformity with the provisions of the Constitution of Kenya 2010.
There are 7 steps involved when filing for a divorce in Kenya. Below are the details on the process you should follow when filing for a divorce in Kenya;
- Filing of the Petition
- The signing of the Notice to Appear
- Receiving the Respondent’s reply
- Issuance of Registrar’s certificate
- Hearing of the Petition
- Judgment/Initial Decree
- Final Decree
Steps To File for A Divorce In Kenya
Step: Filing of the Petition
The first step in getting a Divorce from your partner is filing of the petition. Once you have made the decision to file for divorce, you should hire a lawyer to assist you. Your lawyer will assist you in filling out the petition and other necessary documents.
The petition is the main document that is required to be filled out by your lawyer. It is also referred to as an affidavit of service. This is because it requires the petitioner to swear that all necessary steps were taken to serve the respondent with notice of your intention to file for divorce. It also requires you to swear under oath that all information provided in this affidavit is true and correct.
In addition, this affidavit must include a statement that states that neither party has been served previously with notice of these proceedings, but if served previously then proof of service must be provided. You will also need witnesses if available
Step 2: The signing of the Notice to Appear
The second step in the divorce filing process in Kenya is the signing of the Notice to Appear. This normally takes about 2 weeks for the Magistrate to sign the Notice to Appear.
The Notice to Appear is similar to an affidavit, and it outlines all the details of your case. This document must be signed by the applicant, who is typically the spouse filing for divorce. The other spouse will receive this document as well as a copy of all relevant documents from their partner’s side, so they have time to prepare for their appearance in court.
Step 3: Receiving the Respondent’s reply
The respondent will receive a copy of the divorce petition, which they must respond to within 15 days. They must file their response with the same court where they received your petition, and they must attach documents such as evidence of a valid marriage certificate or decree of nullity. If they do not respond within 15 days, it is assumed that they have no objection to your application and you can proceed with your divorce without further delay.
Step 4: Issuance of Registrar’s certificate
A Registrar’s certificate is a document issued by a court to prove that a case has been filed and that the court has jurisdiction over it. The Registrar’s certificate is usually issued after the initial filing date, which is also known as the date of registration or filing date. When you get your Registrar’s certificate, it will tell you who to contact if you want additional copies of the document.
Step 5: Hearing of the Petition
The fifth step in the divorce filing process in Kenya is the hearing of the petition. This step is where you and your spouse will be called before a judge to answer questions about why you want to end your marriage. The judge will also ask if there are any issues regarding custody, visitation, child support or alimony.
If both parties agree on all of these issues, then they can sign an agreement that states they agree to what was discussed during the hearing. If they do not agree on these issues, then they will have to go back before the judge at another time for another hearing.
Step 6: Judgment/Initial Decree
The court will issue a judgment, which is an official statement of the court’s decision. The judgment will include a copy of the final decree, which is the document that outlines the terms of your divorce. If you and your spouse agree on all issues in your divorce, then there won’t be any need for further court proceedings. The final decree will be issued at this time and you’ll receive copies of each document.
Step 7: Final Decree
The final decree is the final step in a divorce. It is a document that binds you to your ex-spouse, legally speaking, and goes into effect as soon as it’s signed. The final decree will include all of the terms of your divorce agreement, including how much child support and spousal support you will pay, who will get what property in your marriage, and how much alimony (if any) you will pay or receive. The final decree is also where you can waive or contest any issues you may have with the divorce, like custody or parenting time.
If you need to contest anything in your divorce agreement or if there are issues that need to be addressed before signing off on it altogether, make sure that those things are addressed before signing off on the final decree.
Which Type Of Marriages Are Recognized by Law In Kenya?
The Kenyan Divorce process is governed by the Marriage Act Number 4 of 2014 (simply referred to as “the Act”). Section 6 of the Act recognizes 5 different types of marriages as follows:
(i) Christian Marriages
(ii) Civil Marriages
(iii) Customary Law Marriages
(iv) Hindu Marriages
(v) Marriages under Islamic Law.
Each of these types of marriages have unique requirements for registration as well as for their dissolution.