Court to rule if rich divorced spouses deserve upkeep


Court to rule if rich divorced spouses deserve upkeep

Young romantic couple looking at each other sitting on beach

Case to be decided today will determine whether one spouse can continue financially supporting a partner who is well-up after a marriage ends.

The Supreme Court will today determine whether men should pay for upkeep of women capable of sustaining their lifestyles upon divorce.

In a decision that is likely to have an impact on how marriage alimony is paid, the court will determine whether it is discriminatory for men to pay maintenance to an estranged woman even when they did not sire children with her.

Also at the center of the dispute between a British couple-Charles Michael Angus Walker Munro and his former wife, Pamela Ann Walker Munro-is whether women should enjoy the men’s upkeep after divorce or separation while their own monies are saved or invested.

According to Mr Munro, it is not equitable and fair for Ms Walker to get upkeep money from him, as she has a means of earning a living. He has told court that her estranged wife has a house in England worth £250,000 (Sh34, 474,500 by current exchange rate), which fetches Sh149, 000 rent monthly, and earns a monthly pension of £320 (Sh44, 127).

Chief Justice David Maraga and Justices Jackton Ojwang’, Smokin Wanjala, Njoki Ndung’u and Isaac Lenaola heard that Walker also owns luxury cars and boats.

Munro claims that Walker can secure a job because she is still energetic and has been living in their matrimonial home in Kilifi, where she does not pay rent.

“At no time did the respondent (Walker) state what she does with her income. Her intention is to save 100 per cent of her income and be fully supported by the appellant,” Munro argues.

Munro had been ordered by the High Court to pay Walker £600 (Sh82, 739) for 18 months. The Court of Appeal later enhanced the amount to £1,000 (137,898).

But Walker wanted Sh250, 000 for the stated period, arguing that it would not exceed 20 per cent of what Munro earned every month.

Munro has told the Supreme Court that his former wife leads an expensive life. By comparison, he says, he lives a modest life.

“The appellant is living within his own means; he does his own laundry, takes out garbage, cleans his own house and cooks for himself. The respondent insists on keeping three employees to look after her at his expense,” court papers state.

He argues that if she is allowed to get alimony, her monthly earning will rise to more than £2,000 (Sh275, 796) while his will reduce to £1,000 (Sh137, 898).

The two were married on May 3, 1997 in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, England.

They came to Kenya in 2007, but divorced in 2009 on claims of desertion and extravagance in the marriage.

Walker moved to court seeking to have the marriage dissolved on the grounds that Munro walked away from their matrimonial home.

Munro denied deserting the marriage and raised a claim of cruelty, arguing that Walker had bought an expensive car worth Sh1.6 million while a simple car would have worked for them, and that she refused to accompany him on a fishing camp holiday.

He also told the court that she had read his private documents and will without his permission.

In her court documents, Walker told the judges that she was a housewife and that Munro was an extremely wealthy person.

Court to rule if rich divorced spouses deserve upkeep

Source the standard Newspaper

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