Kenya's Most Authoritative Political Newspaper

Citizen Weekly

Friday, 31 October 2014

MY LAST BORN IS FROM AN AFFAIR AND MY HUSBAND KNOWS, SAYS WIFE

Dear Harold,
I have been married for 20 years and have four children (three sons and a daughter). During our marriage, I got into a romantic relationship with a married man who fathered my last born son, who is nine years old. My predicament is that my husband knows that the child is not his and has threatened, on several occasions, to leave him out of his inheritance. However, he treats the child just like the other three he biologically fathered. Does my child have legal rights over the property of my husband? Would I have any legal options should my husband make good his threats and leaves the name of my last born son out of his Will?

Kimberly, Nakuru

Dear Kimberly,

Yes, the child has legal rights to inherit property of his father (your husband). Family law presumes that he is the father as he acknowledged parental responsibility by catering for his basic needs – paying fees, offering food, medication and shelter – for nine consecutive years. Legally, a man acquires parental responsibility over a child who is not biologically his by living under one roof with the mother for 12 months and providing basics of life over the period. Moreover, your husband never divorced you even when your secret relationship amounted to adultery which is a major ground for divorce. As per your second concern, you have legal options should your husband makes good his incessant threats and leaves your son out of his will. You can move to court and contest the will arguing that the father left out a child who was also his dependant out of his estate. The court would issue orders that the child be included in the estate as a legal heir and even direct the exact portion of his share. Moreover, it would also not be a crime should the biological father of the child also gives the child a portion of his investment as a gift.