Oct 20, 2017

What to prove to get a divorce in Nigeria | Adedunmade Onibokun


Official statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics suggest that divorce is exceedingly uncommon in Nigeria with just 0.2% of men and 0.3% of women having legally untied the knot and well under 1% of couples admit to being separated. But as a Legal practitioner, I seek not to agree with this statistic especially as I witness many divorce proceedings in family courts and the newspapers are regularly awash with reports of petitions for dissolution for marriages.


Moreover, it has been argued in several quarters that the above statistics do not put into consideration the number of marriages conducted under traditional law and also Islamic law.

Under Nigerian law, a statutory marriage can only be dissolved by a court order and divorce is guided by the Matrimonial Causes Act. It is also worthy to note that under Nigerian law, marriage is between a man and a woman, as Nigerian law does not recognize same sex marriages or unions. The law also further provides a 14 year jail term, for anyone who participates in same – sex unions or relationships.

With regard to petitions for dissolution of marriage, Section 15(1) of the Matrimonial Causes Act provides that, a petition may be presented to the court by either party to the marriage upon the ground that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.

Submitting a petition for dissolution of marriage does not however automatically mean that the divorce will be granted, as the petitioner must be able to prove sufficient grounds to warrant the prayer being granted. If the petitioner fails to prove this, even if the divorce is desired by both parties, the petition will be dismissed.

The grounds that a petitioner must prove to show that the marriage has broken down irretrievably are stated in Section 15(2) of the Matrimonial Causes Act, they include –

a.      That the other partner (i.e. respondent) has willfully and persistently refused to consummate the marriage, meaning that the other spouse has refused to have sexual intercourse since the celebration of the marriage.  

b.     That since the marriage the respondent has committed adultery and the petitioner finds it intolerable to live with the respondent.

c.      That since the marriage the respondent has behaved in such a way that the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent.

d.     That the respondent has deserted the petitioner for a continuous period of at least one year immediately preceding the presentation of the petition;

e.      That the parties to the marriage have lived apart for a continuous period of at least 2 years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition and the respondent does not object to a decree being granted;

f.       That the parties to the marriage have lived apart for a continuous period of at least 3 years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition;

g.     That the other party to the marriage has, for a period of not less than one year, failed to comply with a decree or restitution of conjugal rights made under this act;

h.     That the other party to the marriage has been absent from the petitioner for such time and in such circumstances as to provide reasonable grounds for presuming that he or she is dead.

The dissolution of traditional or customary marriage is however not as stringent as that under the marriage act. A customary law marriage can be dissolved without judicial pronouncement or intervention.

For more information about how to get a divorce, you can talk to a lawyer or send a mail to the undersigned.

Adedunmade Onibokun
Principal Partner
Adedunmade Onibokun & Co.


Share:

0 comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive

AELEX Annual Lecture

AELEX Annual Lecture
AELEX Annual Lecture

ORDER NOW

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

CONTACT US

Name

Email *

Message *

Powered by Blogger.