Feb 27, 2017

Desertion: When A Spouse Abandons Marriage After The Wedding| Hightower Lawyers

This is not legal advice. This piece only seeks to educate and promote a healthy conversation.

In Nigeria, there is only one ground for divorce. This is when a marriage has broken down irretrievably. Instances that lead to this include cruelty, adultery, and desertion for at least one year.

Newly weds(and old couples) have a legal duty to live together in the same household, though not necessarily under the same roof. That is, they can live in different places or countries as long as they have so agreed.

Desertion can be described as a matrimonial misconduct, and it occurs when there is an intention to part with the other spouse, coupled with the intent to bring the cohabitation(living together) to an end. In a reported decision, the husband forced his wife out of the matrimonial home, and abandoned her for three years without any maintenance; it was held to amount to desertion.
Another example would be instances where the husband deliberately moves out of the matrimonial home without the consent of his wife, or where he lives a completely isolated life from his wife, regardless of the fact that they live together, e.g. where he cooks his own food, sleeps in a separate room, denies his wife sex and fails to communicate with her.

In the same vein, when a husband travels out of the country, in search of greener pastures, and never comes back to his wife(family) or gets married to (or cohabitates permanently) another woman, all these may amount to desertion. This is the present reality of lots of married people in Nigeria.

However, four elements must be established to prove desertion:
1.     Actual separation of the spouses,
2.     The intention to end cohabitation permanently,
3.     The lack of consent from the deserted spouse,
4.     Absence of just or reasonable cause for the desertion.

Where the elements above have been proved, the innocent party (i.e. the deserted partner) may sue for judicial separation, restitution of conjugal rights, or even dissolution of marriage.

The law affords the innocent party the above mentioned options. Marriage – it is believed – is contracted for different reasons. The law recognises that when companionship, support, and all other benefits cease to exist, there is adequate reason to dissolve such unions or seek other remedies.

In sum, if a spouse has been deserted, there is a fitting prescription under the Nigerian law.

By - Hightower Lawyers

This article was first posted here.



Post a Comment


LCA_YAN Moot Competition


The Nigerian blawg

Disclaimer:- Posts and comments by the publishers of this blog do not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship.

Follow by Email

Advertise your property

Property Listings

  • SALE-4bedroom duplex With 3 living rooms. Located at Opic Harmony Estate. Asking 80m Title Global C of O/ consent in progress. 08055424566
  • FOR SALE 8bedroom duplex 2 living rooms With 2 rooms BQ N150m Located off CMD Road Magodo Registered Title Contact 08055424566
  • Property for Rent – New Building, 4 unit luxury 2 bedroom flat available at Rafiu Ipaye Street, Ijesha, Surulere. Ground floor back flat- 700k per anum, First floor back flat – 750k per anum, 2nd floor back flat – 750k, 2nd floor front flat – 800k. Service charge - 75k per anum. Refundable caution – 70k. Call 08055424566 for details.
  • Property For Sale!!! A fenced and gated uncompleted 3 bedroom site on a full plot of land is available for sale at Igbetu via Awoyaya, behind Mayfair Gardepn Estate, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos for sale. Price is N20million and Title Documents include, Family Receipt,  Deed of Assignment and Global C of O. Contact 08055424566 for more information
  • PROPERTY FOR SALE!!!!!!!!  A 5 Bedroom Duplex with 2 room BQ formerly used for a Nursery & Primary school is available for sale in Iyana Ipaja, Lagos  Building contains 9 CLASSROOMS, 2 OFFICE SPACES, 1 LARGE RECEPTION, 8 TOILETS, 5 BATHROOMS, KITCHEN,PLAY AREA. The seller's title is a certificate of Occupancy and the asking price is 35 million Naira.  Contact 08055424566 for more details 
  • List your property for rent or sale here



Email *

Message *

Powered by Blogger.