As international family lawyers we advise individuals on divorce and associated issues, including property division and disputes over children. When one or both spouses have any legal connection to another country other than the UK the divorce process can be complicated because of the interaction of the laws of different jurisdictions. In relation to clients seeking legal advice in England with a connection to Kenya, for example those who are originally from that country or who may have been married there, our solicitors can offer tailor-made advice to ensure that you approach the legal aspects of your family matter in the most appropriate way. By way of background we have set out some of the key issues of Kenyan divorce and family law below.

Marriage And Divorce In Kenya

Kenya is a diverse and multi-ethnic country. The Marriage Act, 2014 recognises civil marriages as well as those performed under customary law and under the Christian, Hindu and Islamic traditions. All marriages must be registered and, while Islamic marriages and their dissolution are governed by religious courts, they are still subject to the overarching equality provisions of the Kenyan constitution. There are some differences in the way marriages contracted under each tradition can be dissolved.

Divorce Grounds In Kenya

Kenyan divorce is fault-based. The spouse petitioning for divorce can only do so by proving one of the specified offences under the Marriage Act. The grounds are as follows:

  • Adultery
  • Cruelty – This can be mental or physical cruelty, inflicted on the spouse seeking divorce or on any children
  • Desertion by either party for a period of at least three years
  • Exceptional depravity by either party
  • The irretrievable breakdown of marriage

Hindu, Islamic and customary marriages are subject to a similar –although more restrictive – regimes in terms of divorce.

Until 2019 it was not possible to petition for divorce – on any ground – until a period of three years had elapsed from the date of marriage. In 2019 however that provision of the Marriage Act was declared unconstitutional.

Children And Kenyan Divorce

Parents can agree joint custody of children, if there is no agreement the court will base any decision on:

  • The wishes of the child, parents, guardians, foster parents and any other person who has had previous custody of the child
  • Customs of the community
  • Religious background of the child
  • Relationship between the child and the parent
  • The best interest of the child

In practice it is the mother who normally retains custody of the child and she is able to claim maintenance from the father.

Division Of Property After A Kenyan Divorce

Under The Matrimonial Property Act, marital property is divided according to the contribution made to its acquisition by each spouse. While there are limits on what is deemed ‘marital property’, wives (usually the financially weaker spouse in Kenyan divorce) do benefit from the way the courts interpret the term ‘contribution’.

‘Contribution’ can include non-monetary contributions such as home making, domestic work, childcare and management of a family business. In practice this often means Kenyan wives will be entitled to an equal share of property if they can prove that the property was acquired during the marriage and that they contributed directly or indirectly to its acquisition

Advice On Divorce Law In Kenya

If you or your spouse are seeking legal advice in England but you have a legal connection to Kenya, it’s important to get advice from an international divorce lawyer if your marriage has broken down. At Brookman we regularly act in cross border disputes. Even if we have not dealt directly with Kenyan divorce law, our understanding of contrasting legal systems across the world means we can advise you on many relevant issues affecting your divorce.

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Divorce Videos

Henry Brookman has created several discussion videos in order to further explain some areas of divorce.

International Divorce

Watch Henry Brookman summarise divorce and common divorce myths.

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Henry Brookman Discusses: Divorce
Henry Brookman Discusses: Common Divorce Myths

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About The Team

We are a specialist divorce and international divorce family law team, advising clients in the United Kingdom (specifically England and Wales) and throughout the world. We have a very people–orientated approach to working with clients. Henry Brookman has practised law for over 45 years, and our team has a wide range of skills and expertise. We are recommended by the Legal 500 and have been awarded the Law Society’s quality mark, Lexcel.

Partner

Henry Brookman

With over 45 years' experience, Henry Brookman is the senior member of the team. He is described by The Legal 500 as ‘shrewd, savvy, sagacious and highly experienced’.

Partner

Talitha Brookman

Talitha is a Partner in the firm and a very experienced practitioner. She has been exclusively practising family law for over 15 years and is a recognised expert in her field.

Partner

Philip Morton

Recommended by The Legal 500, Philip is an expert in all areas of family law, including domestic and international financial disputes, fraud and commercial dispute resolution.

Partner

Natasha Slabas

Expert in all areas of family law, often involving cases that have an international element, including work in relation to financial settlements following divorce.

Partner

Aziz Malik

Aziz is a Partner at the firm and is highly regarded for his expertise on financial matters in divorce and has been recommended by the Legal 500.

Senior Associate

Kirsty Kelleher

Kirsty is a specialist family law solicitor recommended by The Legal 500. An expert in divorce, financial matters, child-related disputes and contentious probate cases.

Senior Associate

Kevin Danagher

Kevin specialises exclusively in family law, advising on all aspects of relationship breakdown, divorce, same sex marriage, marital agreements, and international family cases.

Associate Solicitor

Jennifer Douglas

Jennifer is a talented solicitor, experienced in all elements of family law, including high net worth financial proceedings, Children Act proceedings and financial claims.

Associate Solicitor

Gavin Yeung

Gavin has excellent experience in family law including divorce and financial proceedings and international child abduction proceedings involving Hague Convention countries.

Senior Associate

Pippa Marshall

Pippa’s experience covers all areas of family law including divorce, financial remedies, same sex relationships, pre- and post-nuptial agreements and cohabitee property disputes.

Chartered Legal Executive

Lorraine Imms

With over 20 years' family law experience, Lorraine can advise on divorce, matrimonial finances, cohabitee disputes, nuptial agreements and private children matters.

Office Manager

Lorna Martin

Lorna is our Office Manager who oversees the operations of the firm including providing accounts support as well as secretarial support to the team.

Accounts Manager

Evdokia Dikova

Eva is an AAT qualified accounts manager and holds full AAT membership (MAAT). She gained her degree in financial accounting from the University of Economics in Bulgaria.

Secretary

Victoria Delatouche

Victoria is a highly experienced Legal Secretary and a long-standing member of the team. She provides secretarial support for the office.

Secretary

Michelle Louison

Michelle provides secretarial support to Henry Brookman. A very experienced family law secretary, Michelle has worked in law for over 12 years.

Front of House Manager

Patricia Antonio

Patricia is an experienced secretary and office administrator, handling the calls that come into the office, greeting clients, and managing office presentation.

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