The divorce laws and the process of divorce in Nigeria are topical issues for any person contemplating a divorce in Nigeria.
The divorce is clearly not an extremely pleasant subject to discuss, considering its effect. However, it is important for any person seeking to divorce to be fully acquainted with the process.
DIVORCE LAWS IN NIGERIA
The major laws guiding the divorce process in Nigeria are Matrimonial Causes Act (MCA) LFN 1990 and Matrimonial Causes Rules. These are not only laws bothering on divorce in Nigeria. There are several judicial decisions that are instrumental to the totality of laws guiding the divorce process in Nigeria.
GROUND FOR DIVORCE
In accordance with the provisions of the MCA, there can only be one ground upon which a court is actually entitled to dissolve a marriage, which is that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. Nevertheless, subject to the provision of 15 (2) (a) (h) of the Act, there are actually eight various species or perhaps classes of the breakdowns. The eight classes shall be restated as follows:
a. that the respondent has persistently and willfully refused to consummate 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 manner that the petitioner can't reasonably be expected to live with the respondent;
d. that the respondent has deserted the petitioner for a constant 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 constant period of a minimum of 2 years immediately preceding the presentation of the respondent as well as the petition doesn't object to a decree being granted;
f. that the parties to the marriage have lived apart for a constant period of a minimum of 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 perhaps restitution of conjugal rights made under that Act;
h. that the other party to the marriage has been absent from the petitioner for time that is such and in circumstances that are such as to provide good grounds for presuming that he or perhaps she's dead.
By and large, it's obvious the reasons for grounds for the description of marriage are actually expanded enough to contain most of the issues couple ordinarily raised in the divorce. Nevertheless, each and every one of them may also pose huge difficulties to establish in court. A party contemplating dissolution of marriage should contact a lawyer to discuss the specific reasons upon which the divorce is actually being sought and for more explanation on every one of the species of the breakdown and the way they fit into individual circumstances.
DURATION OF A DIVORCE
Another fact every prospective divorce petitioner often seeks to know is the duration of the process. A divorce of customary marriage may be as fast as two months in customary court, especially where there are actually no contentions. But the divorce of statutory marriage in High Court might never be under six months even without any contention. In reality, a highly contentious divorce case could take over two years to be concluded.
HOW LONG CAN SOMEONE REMARRY AFTER DIVORCE
In accordance with the provisions of the Matrimonial Causes Act, a person who has been divorced in Nigeria can only remarry 90 days after the decree nisi has been issued. It implies that a divorced person is only entitled to marry after the decree nisi has become absolute.
Finally, it is worthy of note that the Nigerian laws are more reluctant to divorce due to the need to protect family values and children of the marriage. Therefore, no concerted efforts have been made over the years to revamp Nigeria divorce laws by making the process easier.
For example, with the big rise in the Nigerian population and with huge amounts of the divorce petitions, a legal marriage divorce can only still be filed in the High court of the states, which are actually very few in numbers in Nigeria. Whereas, the divorce procedure would have been easier had the courts of summary jurisdiction such as Magistrate courts are allowed to hear divorce cases.
In closing, a statutory marriage divorce process is a serious court proceedings in Nigeria, which requires a parties to retain the services of a legal practitioner.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.