Justice Janet Mulwa held the court had no powers to force a broken marriage to hold together merely because the couple exchanged vows

– The judge said the famous marriage vows were not meant to enslave one and subject him or her to a torturous life

– A magistrate court had dismissed the petition on grounds that the couple had vowed to stay together for better, for worse, unless the marriage turned irretrievably broken

A High Court judge has ruled marriage vows do not hold water when a dispute or divorce case is filed before a court of law.

For better, for worse: Court rules famous marriage vows mean nothing in law

Justice Janet Mulwa. Photo: Daily Nation.
Source: UGC

Justice Janet Mulwa who delivered the ruling on Monday, November 31, said a court of law has no powers to force a broken marriage to hold together merely because the couple exchanged vows.

While bringing to a closure a divorce case of a couple whose names were withheld to safeguard the identity of their young children, Justice Mulwa allowed the two partners to part ways despite having exchanged vows.

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The judge said the famous marriage vows were not meant to enslave or subject one to a torturous life.

“In these times and age, it is no longer the saying ‘Marriage is made in heaven and therefore for better or for worse, for good or for bad times-it must be sustained,” said Mulwa as quoted by The Standard.

She noted the court did not have powers to reconcile an irretrievably broken marriage adding that even if it issued such orders, there were no mechanisms to enforce them.

According to Mulwa, the court can only help partners who are willing to put aside their differences and reconcile but has no powers to compel them to remain together merely because they exchanged vows.

She stated only the intervention of mediators, religious leaders and marriage partners can help salvage the relationship.

Previously ruling

A magistrate court had dismissed the petition on grounds that the couple had vowed to stay together for better, for worse unless the marriage turned irretrievably broken.

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According to Resident Magistrate Faith Muguongo who presided over the matter in July 2015, the wife failed to demonstrate that their marriage had collapsed beyond repair.

Muguongo further noted the complainant failed to prove her husband had other partners outside their marriage.

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