From: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste
SATURDAY, JUNE 7, 2014
Yuvinalis from Kisii writes: “Fr.Beste I read your article on Rose about her husband cheating on her and I just pity her. I worked in three major media houses in Kenya and during those days we did not have much to report on women divorcing or separating with their husbands because they cheat on them.
Strictly speaking, if you divorce your husband or wife because of extra marital affairs, in my opinion it is not right. It is the duty of husband and the wife to protect each other. They need to have dialogue.
I have seen many cases of wives or husbands cheating on each other, but what I can advice Rose and other women is that cheating on them should not be the reason for divorce or separation. There is no need of fighting each other, but better dialogue.
In most cases divorce is thought of as a solution because of lack of good communication which may lead to lack of understanding hence divorce. Rose has not divorced but I assure her that long period of separation may lead her to divorce.
If it persists seek the council of the parents or the small Christian community members. It is only when the other party completely refuses council from the elders that you could consider a divorce. I would also advice Rose and other women that it is not right to check their husbands’ phone or emails. Husbands should also not do the same to their wives.
I leave my phone in the sitting room when I go to the bedroom or the shower. I have big kids and I don’t mind them picking my phone. I don’t have any lockable item in my house. Hence all of us can access any items in the house. This is just to do with trust.
I should also advice men who cheat on their wives to stop doing so because this is just destroying your family and you”.
Thank you for your concern Yuvinalis. I hope Rose will follow your advice and have a change of heart. Your advice to men who cheat on their wives is fantastic. Remember this is not only Rose. The rate of divorce in Kenya on such illicit affairs is on the increase.
Filing a divorce case in court is even more expensive. Legal sources indicate that the cost of filing a divorce case could range from a minimum of Sh200, 000 to Sh500, 000, and the case could drag on in court for years.
A party seeking divorce is known as a petitioner while the one against whom the petition is filed is known as the respondent .The petitioner must illustrate or prove to the court why he or she wants the court to grant the divorce.
The party must prove that their case fits within one of the few grounds for divorce as stipulated in the law. For example, the petitioner has to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the court that a matrimonial offence has occurred, and hence the marriage should no longer continue.
Section 8 of the Matrimonial Causes Act provides divorce proceedings may be commenced either by the husband or the wife on the ground that the respondent:
(a) has since the celebration of the marriage committed adultery; or
(b) has deserted the petitioner without cause for a period of at least three years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition; or
(c) has since the celebration of the marriage treated the petitioner with cruelty; or
(d) is incurably of unsound mind and has been continuously under care and treatment for a period of at least five years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition, and by the wife on the ground that her husband has been guilty of rape, sodomy or bestiality.
The court can also dissolve a marriage if parties show that the marriage has irretrievably broken down, and that there is no love between the parties anymore. These are the only grounds upon which parties can seek to have a marriage dissolved.
Kenyan law prohibits the presentation of a divorce petition to a court of law before three years after the marriage, unless good reasons are shown to the court as to why the petition should be entertained. Parties have to remain within the marriage for a minimum of three years before they lodge a divorce petition.
Like in the case of Rose she is still in a marriage, until the court will grants her a divorce. This is because separation does not break marriage. It is only divorce that breaks the matrimonial bond completely. In other words, she can be free to be remarried.
In Catholic Church this is quite different. Marriage in Catholic is a vocation which fosters the good of the spouses and naturally leads to the procreation and education of children. Above all marriage is a sacrament (Eph. 5).
The couple must understand what marriage is and they must intend their marriage to be a lifelong partnership which is open to children. They must intend fidelity and the mutual good of one another. They must also have the physical and psychological ability to follow through on these intentions.
When all of the above factors are brought together, a sacramental, indissoluble union is established by God. The Church believes that God, the author of marriage, established it as a permanent union. When two people marry, they form an unbreakable bond.
Divorce can only be considered on an annulment. It is a finding by a Church tribunal that on the day vows were exchanged at least one essential element for a valid marriage was lacking. For example, one of the parties did not intend to be faithful to the other party or approached marriage as merely a temporary bond.
A decree of nullity may also be considered on the grounds that one of the parties is incapable of entering into a valid marriage due to fear or coercion, a lack of judgment caused by mental illness or gross immaturity, a psychological disorder or the fact that one of the parties is still validly married to another party.
Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578