Couples married through the civil process are now free to divorce and discontinue their union at any time.
Through a ruling by Justice Reuben Nyakundi, the couples in failed marriages can now freely terminate it and leave at their own liberty. This is against the initial provisions of the Marriage Act that couples can only file for divorce after three years of marriage.
According to Justice Nyakundi, marriage is an institution that partners join in willingly and should be allowed to leave at their own liberty.
“Marriage is about two people who agreed to come together and create the union. It is not right therefore to impose three years rule to forcefully keep people in a situation that no longer serves them,” said Nyakundi.
In the Kenyan constitution, civil marriages are conducted at the Attorney General’s office or before a county commissioner. Recently the cases of divorce and split of marriages have been rampant, with couples who conducted civil marriages being forced to stay together for three years amid fallout.
One of the most recent divorce cases is one detailing Senator Linturi and his estranged partner Kitany. The divorce proceedings have revealed horrific and astounding details of their marriage that portrays the current picture of marriages.
During the proceeding by Justice Nyakundi, it was identified that the three year limitation was not available in Christian, Hindu or Muslim marriages hence should be done away with in the Civil unions.
He however cited that the three year limitation was aimed to protect marriages and prevent the drama that comes along with marriage challenges.
For instance, he said that in the three year period the marriage is still stabilizing and movement in and out would destabilize it.