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No escaping: Kadhi’s court orders man to support ex-wife and unmarried adult daughter

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A Kadhi’s court sitting in Isiolo has set a new precedent after it ruled that a Muslim father is legally obligated to support and provide for his unmarried daughter, until she is married.

The court made the ruling after a divorced woman with her 18-year-old unmarried daughter presented a parental responsibility dispute before it.

The man argued the Children’s Act states that a parent is not legally obligated to provide for his or her child once they are of legal age (18 years).

He further argued that the daughter and ex-wife are adults who should be able to fend for their own.

Senior principal Kadhi Abdulhalim Athman, however, said that Islamic laws state that a daughter should enjoy parental responsibility until she weds.

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The man was ordered to continue catering for his unmarried daughter’s education and provide a monthly stipend of KSh10,000 to the ex-wife.

Additionally, the man was ordered to provide a conciliatory gift ‘mata’ which entails 15% of his property and his retirement benefits.

The man is an ex-driver in the Ministry of Health. He retired last year and claims that his benefits are still due.

He added that in the course of the marriage he was a good father despite constantly being disrespected and mistreated by the mother and daughter.

According to court statements, the couple had been married for 27 years and were blessed with five children. Three out of the five children are adults.

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