LADIES, BEWARE!! No more walking and getting into marriage with rose-tinted glasses. It looks like when you get married you have to think about the ‘ what ifs, that is, should anything go wrong and you end up divorcing, know it will not necessarily be a 50/50 split on the marital assets as well as the child support. You may need to start taking out pre-nuptial agreements before committing to being wed to your ‘Mr. Right’.
My story started in 2008. The final divorce went through in 2015. I thought that was all, but alas, there was the issue of marital property and child support.I pursued the divorce because of compulsive serial adultery and narcissistic behavior. Marital property became a big issue. I was served papers and had to go to court in 2015. Ex-husband was claiming 92% of the one-acre plot and home we lived in as a family in Karen.
The court judgment came out last year (2022). The courts had said – it was to be a 50/50 split because he didn’t have the receipts to prove that he had paid the 92% towards the land. If he had had the receipts, he would have had the property, my daughter and I left homeless and I, after 18 years of marriage, left with nothing. It was a narrow escape…..I certainly didn’t have any proof of any kind because I had trusted we were one in marriage.
So why am I writing this article? So that we do not live with our heads in the cloud. I know there is a tendency to deny that, that divorce can ever happen to you, because you are so ‘in – love’ with each other. As Tina Turner once sang ‘ what’s love got to do with it?’ I understand now. Never say ‘never’. Separation and divorce can happen to anyone. Don’t be fooled. Life happens. This is regardless of how much faith you have (I am a born-again believer, I cried, I fasted, I prayed, I begged…I did all, I could – but it never changed.) Don’t be misled either in thinking that ‘it can’t happen to us’ because you have a strong marital relationship. My ex-husband and I, were one of those couples who people said, ‘what a lovely couple’ never thought it would happen to me. But I digress. Just be prepared…..
Be informed. Know what you are getting into. Know your basic rights when getting married. Equip yourself with information. Sad, as it is, this is what people getting married will need to think about and as a couple – talk it through – seriously or if one doesn’t want to – know the possibilities.
This is what the Supreme court has ruled regarding divorce.
The Supreme Court has ruled that a party- in a marriage- must prove contribution to enable a court to determine the percentage available to them for distribution of matrimonial property where there is divorce. The court also said the test to determine the extent of contribution is one on a case-to-case basis.
The top court judges said while Article 45(3) of the Constitution deals with equality of the fundamental rights of spouses during the dissolution of a marriage, such equality does not mean the re-distribution of proprietary rights or an assumption that spouses are automatically entitled to a 50 percent share by the fact of being married. https://www.businessdailyafrica.com/bd/economy/divorcing-couples-must-prove-contribution-property-share-4101078
What does this mean? Be prepared to produce receipts for any family expenditure. Any contributions towards assets. This is quite sad because when I walked into marriage – with my eyes wide open, I fully believed we were ‘one’ and everything we would share as a family and as a couple.
Throughout my growing up, I knew that real men take care of and support their families always, in all ways. That’s what I saw my late father do. I believe the greatest honor and duty any man can have bestowed when he has a family, is the honor and the privilege of being put in a position where his purpose in life is to support, love, protect and provide for his family. Otherwise, why have a family?
Never in my wildest dreams did I even begin to think that one day, I’d have to prove my ‘contribution’ to the family in monetary value – caring for the children, and the home, enabling him to go out to work and come home to a ‘family’ environment that you have held together – because you believe that’s your role? The reality is – if you can’t prove all this… then should anything untoward happen, then you could be left high and dry.
If you are separated or going through a divorce, know this. Also, child support won’t necessarily all come from your ex or estranged spouse. You too will now have to contribute towards child support.
The Changing Face of Marriage
No one enters into a marriage contemplating divorce. Unfortunately, it happens so frequently that nearly everyone knows someone who is already divorced, or going through the divorce process. It’s no wonder that in the West, couples are taking out prenuptial agreements – those are written contracts created by two people before they are married. It lists all of the property each person owns (as well as any debts) and specifies what each person’s property rights will be after the marriage.
I believe this new family law will affect the concept of marriage in many. I believe it will change the face of marriage…..