Did you know that the law of Kenya protects polygamous family units when the husband dies interstate?
But what is dying interstate? A person who dies without leaving a will is called an intestate person.
Section 40 of the Law of Succession Act provides for the distribution of the estate where the deceased was polygamous.
These provisions apply where the deceased was legally married in a system of law that recognizes polygamy and is survived by different spouses and children.
The High Court building, Nairobi
The Judiciary of Kenya
It provides that in the first instance the personal and household effects of the deceased and the residue of the estate are distributed according to the houses.
Houses refer to each of the children together with their mother.
For example; in two households, with one wife each with five children, the estate will be divided into twelve, ten children and two wives.
Here, the estate will be divided among the houses according to the number of children in each house. Each wife will be counted as an additional unit.
While the law recognises polygamy on legally married spouses, what happens when one is not legally married in a polygamous set-up? Are they protected by the law?
Family lawyer Lilian Machio speaking to Kenyans.co.ke clarified that the law does not recognise a marriage by virtue of cohabitation.
“Marriage Act 2014 does not recognise cohabitation as a form of marriage, in Kenya, a cohabitee has no right to lay claim to any property they may have been jointly acquired should they separate. Cohabitation is referred to as a common-law marriage, living together or a domestic partnership, merely living as besties,” Machio revealed.
Machio further stated that a partner may benefit from polygamy if recognised by the community and has lived in a union for a period between seven to ten years.
“Sometimes one can be recognised if they have been cohabiting as a spouse for maybe seven to ten years, they could have witnesses to prove that they are married, also having children bearing the name of the father while also have receipts of payments like school fees can sustain a claim, however, each case has its special circumstances,” she added.
Over time, some people do hold the belief that once a couple has lived together for an extended period of time, there is an automatic marriage under common law.
There is an erroneous belief that a couple does not need to get into the rigours and formalities of marriage when they can simply stay together for a long period of time and they will be ‘deemed’ to be married under the law.
Even so, living together without being married or being in a civil partnership means you do not have many rights around finances, property and children.
Former president Uhuru signing marriage act bill into law 29 April 2014.
French Embassy Grants 2023 – Funds for NGOs
AUCTIONEER LOSES BID TO STOP HIS SENTENCING
Khaligraph Jones celebrates Femi One on AFRIMMA win
M-Pesa hardens Africa grip with Sh43.3 trillion deals in 12 months
Panic in Energy parastatals as Chirchir makes comeback – Weekly Citizen
Kisumu phones saga lands at National Police Commission – Weekly Citizen
DTB recruits 100 University Students for Job Shadowing Program
EACC moves to court recover grabbed public land worth Ksh 100M
Parents To Pay More School Fees, Here’s The New Fee Structure
Gachagua: Women to take up 70 percent of hustler fund
Switzerland beats Serbia 3-2 to reach last 16 of World Cup
Cameroon becomes first-ever African side to defeat Brazil at FIFA World Cup
Big day for film industry at Kalasha Awards
Party official storms ODM headquarters to protest his fake death – Weekly Citizen
Cholera alert as 59 cases confirmed – Kenya Satellite News Network
US-led forces resume normal patrols in Syria » Capital News
Willing to talk to Putin about ending war in Ukraine
Jubilee Health partners with Agha Khan University Hospital, Meru-based sacco to roll out week-long medical camp
Aisee ukiwa mzembe, nyeti ndio zitaumia! – Taifa Leo
Brad William Henke, ‘Orange Is the New Black’ actor, dead at 56
Business News3 days ago
Call for use of technology to combat cattle rustling
Columns And Opinions7 days ago
To correct ills of Jubilee regime, Ruto should invest in counties
Tech3 days ago
Here’s the TECNO Phantom X2 Pro in photos, plus specifications
Sports6 days ago
Messi magic reignites Argentina, France into World Cup last 16
General News5 days ago
The News Brief: Fireworks as Raila calls anti-Ruto meetings
Business News2 days ago
Everything You Need To Know
General News13 hours ago
1824 Club owner Kanani, a junior Urban Planning officer at City Hall on Eacc radar, accounts frozen
Business News5 days ago
28-year-old Kenyan develops Africa’s first AI content generation software