The High court in Milimani, Nairobi has ruled that a separated couple has equal responsibility to their children and none has a superior or inferior burden.
High Court judge, Justice Abida Ali Aroni, in a ruling on a child-support dispute between former lovers, said that separated couples should have an equal joint parental responsibility.
“where a child’s father and mother were married to each other at the time of his birth, they shall have parental responsibility for the child and neither the father nor the mother of the child shall have a superior right or claim against the other in exercise of such parental responsibility.” said the judge while citing Section 24 of the Children Act.
Justice Aroni was ruling on an application challenging a magistrate’s court decision to apportion the man a bigger financial burden of maintaining a child he sired with his former wife.
In her ruling, the judge noted that, since the evidence in the court showed that both parties “are in salaried employment and earn substantial income”, the responsibilities should be shared equally.
Justice Aroni also pointed out that the ex-lovers live separately and so it is assumed that each has a house with rent or mortgage and utility bills to be paid for, food to purchase, and both will need a nanny because each has access to the child; the only issues, therefore, for consideration are school fees, school related expenses and clothing.