There is no refuting that divorce has gradually turned out to be one of the most popular cases in local courts today. Virtually everywhere, divorce has become one of the common trends. The long-ago discernment that a divorced man or woman is held in disdain by society is no longer perceptible these days.
However, there is still no guarantee that filing for this legal process of dissolving the marital bond can be a piece of cake for anyone.
The rate of divorce has drastically improved in recent years. With observers pointing out various reasons for this radical change, statistics suggest the rate will even increase more in coming years.
With a marked increase in the number of divorce cases across courts in the country, lots of couples prefer to seek legal advice and settle the divorce privately away from the court.
While some have suggested this method works faster and quieter, most people opt for this method due to the hefty legal cost of divorce in the country. With the topic increasingly surfacing in recent times, it is essential to take a look at how much the process of divorce costs in Kenya and the processes involved.
There are many reasons why couples want to be divorced. It could be they are suffering from a failed marriage, the disloyalty of one of the spouses to their marital vows, emotional, mental, or even physical abuse, or they have fallen out of love, among many other reasons. But the point is that there are largely thousands of partners who decide to end the whole thing in their relationship.
While the Legal process of divorce could be largely tedious and takes a while, the more challenging part is how much the process actually costs. The truth is, the legal fees are principally expensive. You must be ready to shell out money to pay for your legal counsel, the processing of the divorce documents, and a lot of other expenses to be incurred during the process. Normally, the attorneys work based on the budget you have set out to spend. This means I am better to always work with the family lawyer or attorneys you are close to so as to reduce the eventual amount you will spend on the process.
Cost of Divorce in Kenya
The definite cost of divorce can vary extensively from one case to the other. Most of the time, the eventual amount spent on the process depends on the reasons behind the divorce or the circumstances surrounding the case. Nevertheless, knowing what to expect and how the divorce process runs can cut down on some of the expenses and also ease the stress surrounding the process. It also helps you significantly strategize and know where the bigger expenses tend to rise.
The first question most divorcees ask at first is, who pays the attorney fees? In most cases, each person involved pays their own fees. In a few other cases though, one of the partners can request that the spouse pay some part of the fees involved, especially if the spouse filed for the divorce in the first place. This, and many more similar issues may be decided on in the divorce settlement, and it may also depend on the actual reason for the divorce.
As it stands, legal sources across the country designate that the cost of filing a divorce case ranges between Ksh 200,000 and Ksh500,000, depending on the court, attorney charges, and sometimes, the reason for the divorce. This process, although it takes between one to three years, could drag on in court for many more years. Besides the expensive legal costs, couples with irreconcilable variances are frequently discouraged from court procedures due to personal reasons, family influence, or even joint agreement.
Some factors determine the length of Divorce. In Kenya, the factors include mandatory waiting time, the extent of the conflict, and divorce complications.
Firstly, The parties are legally required to live separately for a while before filing a divorce. This law is known as the mandatory waiting period, and it begins from when the parties file the petition and the duration it takes the court to make a ruling on the divorce. Typically it ranges between 2-3 months and could go beyond that in some cases. The time allows the couple to reconcile and maybe end the unnecessary dispute.
If the couples decide to proceed with the divorce, the process will be finalized without connection. Furthermore, nationality problems, parenting complications, and possession of luxurious assets can also affect the duration of the divorce.
The divorce process can generally be cheaper and less stressful if both parties involved decide and agree on most of the terms in the divorce settlement. If this works, the involvement of lawyers from either party will be minimal, therefore reducing how much to be spent on the overall process. If possible, deliberating the terms and what should transpire could be a decent idea for both parties. If you are able to work some of the processes out and agree on your own, the whole process may go without so much stress and hitch.
Despite the increased rate of divorce in Kenya today, the understandably expensive financial implication has not halted the process, with lots of partners gunning for separation by verbal agreement, which is far cheaper and less stressful.
Court Process Involved in Divorce in Kenya
The process of divorce can be tedious and stressful. It can also take a long period of time depending on the situation and the reason for the divorce. Generally, the court process normally takes a minimum of three years. Once your lawyer presents a court case, the involved parties will normally be given a maximum of six months period to determine whether or not they want the divorce. During this process, both parties are advised to seek counseling or traditional leaders in their communities, who will try to reconcile them. In most cases, the separating couples always come back and still insist on the divorce.
After six months of grace, the separating couples will be obligated to appear in court for a full hearing. This is the period where stern issues concerning property division and child maintenance will arise. This process can also take a long period of time as the separating spouses must agree on the terms before the process can continue. The court will hear the couples and make a ruling.
After the ending of the marriage, each party will be guided on what to do by their attorneys. The preceding activities between both parties will be monitored by the court to ensure they follow the ruling. Occasionally, a DNA test may be required, a title deed will also be necessary and also evidence of ownership of various properties will be updated where necessary.