Court Warns Women Against Converting Child Upkeep To Personal Income In Landmark Ruling

by Lawyer Alex

A court in Mombasa has dealt a big blow to women after it ruled child upkeep should not be used as their source of income proving a sigh of relief for men.

Justice Mugure Thande of the Family Division of the High Court made the landmark ruling on Friday, September 18 in a case that involved a man identified as DN and a woman named CM whose marriage hit the rocks in 2016.

In this, the court suspended an order by the Children’s Court requiring a man to bear 70% of parental responsibility saying this was punitive on the male child arguing it also negated the equality principle in parental responsibility.

Justice Thande she was satisfied there was sufficient ground to interfere with and vary the order of the lower court in terms of contribution and the amount paid as monthly maintenance.

“Accordingly, I set aside the order that contribution be at the ratio of 70:30 and the order that the man pay KSh 45,500, being his share of monthly contribution. I substitute, therefore, an order that the man shall pay to the woman, on or before the fifth day of each month, the sum of KSh 30,000, being his contribution towards the upkeep of the children,” the judge ruled.

The Children’s Court had ruled DN should be the only one to pay school fees, related expenses, entertainment for the children and support in buying clothes on a 50:50 ratio.

He was also tasked to pay up to KSh 45,500 monthly which accounted for 70% of his contribution.

The woman had rushed to court and filed a case against her husband and wanted him compelled to contribute KSh105,700 IN monthly maintenance for their two children.

The Children’s Court had granted the woman her request but allowed the duo to both have legal custody of the kids.

“Harsh” ruling

After the ruling, the man was angered that he was given a larger responsibility to carry despite the woman also earning a salary.

He argued he had two loans to service and that his then wife misled the court that she had taken a salary cut.

“No explanation was given that she had gotten a pay cut. The woman is not genuine in her claim and is seeking to enrich herself,” he said.

High living standards

After listening to the man’s appeal and the defence of the lady, Justice Thande said it was clear the woman was more interested in maintaining the “high standard he had already set for the children,” at the expense of the man.

“When all these factors are taken into account, I find that there is sufficient reason for this court to interfere with the finding of the trial magistrate on the ratio of contribution,” she said.

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