Alimony & Child upkeep: Parliament decides it’s 50:50

by Wakili Liam
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Peter Kaluma

A bill sponsored by Homabay Member of National Assembly Peter Kalumua on child upkeep has sailed through.

Prliament backed the bill that will make it mandatory for both parents to pay child upkeep on a fifty fifty basis.

His bill has now received backing from the committee on Labour and Social welfare. “The committee having considered the Children (Amendment) Bill recommends that the House passes the Bill as it is,” the committee said in its recommendation report.

The Children (Amendment) Bill, 2020 seeks to have the rights of all children applied uniformly, whether their parents are married or not, by aligning the principal law with Article 53 of the Constitution.

The law is currently not uniform. As such, it applies differently to children whose parents are married and those with single parents. Section 24 (3) of the law, which the Bill wants amended, provides that where a child’s father and mother are not married to each other, the mother shall have parental responsibility at the first instance. The law also stipulates that the father can only assume parental responsibility through a court order.

The new Bill now provides that neither the father nor the mother of the child shall have a superior right or claim against the other in the exercise of such parental responsibility. In addition, says that in a situation where one of the parents, through a DNA test, has confirmed that the child does not belong to them, they may cease taking up parental responsibilities.

Clause 2 of MP Kaluma’s Bill seeks to amend section 24 of the Principal Act to make it mandatory for the father and mother of a child to have parental responsibility of the child, whether the parents were married at the time the child was born or did not subsequently get married. This Bill is now slated for its Second reading in parliament.

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