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Three-year Limit For Newly-Weds To Separate Or Divorce Lifted



Couples married through the civil process – conducted at the Attorney General’s offices or before the county commissioner’s offices – can now file for divorce at any time. Justice Reuben Nyakundi yesterday declared section 66 (1) of the Marriage Act that barred such couples from divorcing within the three years unconstitutional.

“Corollary to the above is the fact that by imposing the three-year limitation, the impugned Section had the effect of forcefully keeping parties in a situation they no longer wished to be part of,” the judge ruled. Previously, the law only allowed couples in civil unions to file for divorce after three years of trial and error.

The judge further faulted MPigs for not carrying out public participation before passing the outrageous law he claimed was an affront to human dignity by subjecting Kenyans to confinement in failed marriages for three years.

With more and more kenyans opting for the subtle civil process, lawyer Tukero ole Kina filed the case arguing that those married under Christian, Muslim and Hindu religions had no three-year limitation. The Mps had allegedly passed the law to protect young marriages by restricting parties from moving in and out while the marriage is stabilising.

In recent years prenuptial agreements have also gained official recognition in Kenya, marriages which for a long time in the country have been seen as mandatory rites of passage may now have room for a little wiggling and not life long uncorrectable decisions. Divorce would earlier risk your life’s worth, but with new laws put in place, Kenyans can rest easy.

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In a survey titled “Study on Youth of Kenya” Young Kenyans believed “marriage should be for life, leaving no window for divorce,” however, with times changing,  the majority of young people who get married with a lot of fanfare and end up in unhappy unions can now leave those unions at any time.

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