How To Process Divorce In Kenya

How To Process Divorce In Kenya

A divorce is a formal ending of a marriage. It’s more permanent than separation and involves a legal process. If you get a divorce, that means the marriage is officially over.

The Kenyan divorce process is straightforward and uncomplicated. Thus, with all factors remaining constant, the process should take a maximum of 2 months from start to conclusion.  The next article in this series will explain the handling of the matrimonial property once a divorce is done.

In this article Keweb. co tries to answer the question by publishing the Process one can Divorce in Kenya

Below are the most helpful Processes for Divorce in Kenya

Grounds for divorce in Christian, Civil and Customary marriages

The common grounds for the dissolution of Christian, Civil, and Customary marriages in Kenya are:

  1. Acts of adultery committed by either spouse
  2. Cruelty, whether mentally or physically, caused by their spouse to them or their children
  3. Abandonment by either spouse for at least 3 years before the date when they present their divorce petition
  4. Exceptional moral corruption or wickedness.
  5. The permanent breakdown of the marriage.

Under Kenyan law, a marriage has broken down irretrievably when:

  • a spouse commits adultery,
  • a spouse is cruel to the other spouse or to any child of the marriage.
  • a spouse willfully neglects the other spouse for at least two years.
  • The couple has been separated for at least two years.
  • A spouse has deserted their partner for at least three years.
  • A spouse has been sentenced to a term of imprisonment for life or for a term of seven years or more.
  • A spouse has been diagnosed with a severe mental health disorder This is to be certified by two doctors and one of them must be a psychiatrist.

Additional provisions for divorce in civil marriages

A couple that got married under civil marriage cannot ask the courts for a separation or a divorce if they have been married for less than three (3) years.

The court may refer a dispute that comes about in a civil marriage to a  Court-annexed mediation is a voluntary process and is recognized by the judicial system. This means that once the court refers the dispute to the mediation process and the couple agrees to it, they are expected back in court after a maximum of 60 days with a report from the mediator. After the mediation, the couple can choose to work things out or to proceed with the divorce.  

Additional provisions for divorce in customary Marriages.

Additional grounds for divorce under customary marriage may include any other reasons under the customs of the community to which the couple belongs. For example, if the person has been caught committing a crime such as theft or robbery, this can be a reason to get a divorce since some cultures believe that this could run in the family and children gotten from that marriage will be criminals and social misfits.

A couple married under customary marriage may go through a reconciliation process or customary dispute resolution before the courts give a decision on their petition to divorce. In most communities, elders will try to reconcile the couple before a divorce is granted. However, if this does not work, the elders will then give a go-ahead for the marriage to be disbanded.

The person who takes the couple through the dispute resolution process will prepare a report of the process for the court.

How much does it cost to file a divorce in Kenya?

This application costs a minimum of Five hundred Kenya shillings (Kshs. 500.00) in filing fees. This application must be accompanied by a commissioned Affidavit of service or non-service.

How can I get a quick divorce in Kenya?

A petition for annulment of marriage can only be filed within 1 year of marriage. The Divorce process starts with the filing of a Divorce Petition to the Chief Magistrate’s Court. The Petition sets out the grounds for divorce and the facts the Petitioner relies on to establish those grounds.