The High Court in Kenya has offered an in-depth explanation on factors to consider while presiding over matrimonial property disputes and declared that housewives should be paid.
Justice Teresiah Matheka, while presiding over a similar case, stated that it is unfair for courts to rule that housewives did not contribute anything to the financial progress of the family.
The Judge noted that being a housewife is a full-time job that should be payable. According to the Judge, housewives should not say they don’t work since they provide services in the home that are otherwise outsourced and paid for.
Justice Matheka remarked that is it is unfair to only rely on seen income and the mindset that one has to contribute money to the marriage to find value.
“It is easy for the spouse working away from home and sending money to lay claim to the whole property purchased and developed with that money by the spouse staying at home and taking care of the children and the family. That spouse will be heard to say that the other one was not employed so they contributed nothing.”
“Raising children is a full-time job that families pay a person to do. Cooking and cleaning as well. Hence, for a woman in employment who has to balance childbearing and rearing this contribution must be considered,” the Judge stated.
She further stated that in a case where parties have separated and one is taking care of the minors, he or she should get a sizeable sum of the matrimonial property.
Further, the Judge noted that the nine months a woman carries a baby in her womb should be taken into account by Judges while presiding over family disputes.
She noted that carrying a pregnancy to a full term should be considered as work and explained that in recent times some couples have been acquiring services of surrogate mothers to bear children for them.
Justice Matheka said carrying a pregnancy for nine months is work for surrogates who are paid a sizeable amount of money. She added that taking care of children is a full-time job in today’s society.
She was presiding over a dispute where the couple had separated and the woman was seeking to have the family property sold and the money distributed equally between her and the former husband.
The Judge directed that they should sell the property and split proceeds equally or in the alternative, buy out the other party by paying half of the value of the property.