The High Court has ruled failure to formally dissolve a previous marriage should not be a hindrance for one to enter another marriage.
A man in Malindi has lost his property to his late wife’s “casual boyfriend” following a ruling delivered last Friday in Malindi. The court pointed out that one may walk into a marriage voluntarily and leave it the same way.
Malindi High Court Judge Reuben Nyakundi said the law cannot attach obligations upon persons who have decided to part ways but fail to formalise the same, because that is not the true reflection of what they want.
“If parties in a marriage show an intention not to continue with their marriage or conduct themselves like unmarried persons, then the same should be treated as such,” Judge Nyakundi said.
“Divorce is not the mere procedure of filing for a decree but pertains to the intention and conduct of parties,” he added.
With this ruling, a man and his children walked home empty-handed after a spirited fight to claim property worth millions of shillings belonging to his deceased wife failed to bear fruits.
The man and his children had hoped to reclaim the wealth left by his wife who died intestate in 2018 from a foreigner.
The man argued that though they separated after 10 years but their marriage was not formally dissolved, therefore, he was still the deceased’s legal husband, having conducted their marriage under the Luo customary law some 40 years ago.
“We separated but never divorced, so I am her dependent,” he said.