IN A DECISION THAT HAS BEEN HAILED AS UNPRECEDENTED BY LEGAL EXPERTS, A KENYAN COURT HAS RULED THAT PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY SHOULD NOT AUTOMATICALLY GO TO WOMEN IF CHILDREN ARE UNDER THE AGE OF NINE, MEANING MEN CAN ALSO BE OFFERED CUSTODY NOW.

Written by on April 8, 2022

In a decision that has been hailed as unprecedented by legal experts, a Kenyan court has ruled that parental responsibility should not automatically go to women if children are under the age of nine, meaning men can also be offered custody now.

Under the Kenyan law, mothers are often granted physical custody of young children because they are viewed as the natural care givers. Men are only offered custody under exceptional circumstances.

However, critics have argued the role of mothers have evolved to also include careers.

For the first time the courts used the best interest of child principle – citing article 53 of the constitution, which gives equality in parenting.

The judgement was delivered by Justice Joel Ngugi, who upheld the decision of a lower court granting custody to the father in the case.


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