The procedure for how to dissolve a marriage in Nigeria depends on the type of marriage contracted. For the purpose of divorce proceedings, there are two major types of marriage in Nigeria, which are;
A statutory marriage (also known as legal marriage) can only be dissolved by a State High Court in Nigeria. The process for how you can dissolve a marriage in Nigeria starts by filing a petition in court.
To be able to dissolve the legal marriage, the court should be satisfied with the unsuccessful settlement option.
Dissolution of marriage by a court should be on grounds of an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
Section 15(b) of the Matrimonial Causes Act stipulates the meaning of “irretrievable breakdown of marriage”, in which the law specifies that the court are only able to determine that the marriage has irretrievably broken down in one or even more of the following facts or perhaps reasons:
The proceedings for dissolution of marriage is usually instituted by way of Petition filed by the individual bringing the action called “the Petitioner” against whom it’s brought called “the Respondent”.
The Petition shall contain the following details:
The Petition shall also be accompanied with other processes such as: Notice of Petition, Verifying Affidavit, Certificate relating to reconciliation, Acknowledgement of service, original marriage certificate.
The Respondent in reaction to the petition files a Cross-Petition or Answer.
The Petitioner may in response file a Reply to an Answer or even the Answer to the Cross Petition as the case might be.
If the matters relating to settlement and custody of children are pleaded in the petition, the court may order a compulsory conference.
Upon the close of pleadings, the parties move to the trial stage, where each party will give an account of his or perhaps the experience of her in the marriage.
The following stage is actually adoption of final written address by the parties’ legal practitioner and finally Judgement
It’s worthy of note that unless the leave of the court is actually obtained, no petition for dissolution of marriage might be filed within 2 years from the particular date of marriage.
Before the court approves the dissolution, the court is going to consider other issues, such as properties jointly owned by parties; custody; and also the maintenance of the kids of the marriage.
Upon dissolution of the marriage by the court, the court then issues a Decree Nisi, which shall become Absolute after three months except:
Additionally, a Decree Nisi may be rescinded by the Court at any time before the Decree becomes Absolute:
Customary marriage & Islamic Marriage
Unlike the statutory marriage that can just be dissolved in High Court, the Islamic and customary marriage may only be dissolved at the Customary Court.
At the Customary Court, a petition for dissolution of marriage will be filed accompanied by an Affidavit stating that the marriage sought to be dissolved was conducted under native customary law.
After the petition has been filed, the same shall be served on the Respondent before the court is able to proceed to hear the issue.
Apart from dissolving the marriage, the Customary Court also has the power to make an order for custody of kids and order maintenance or perhaps kid support.
Apart from Islamic marriage, a Christian Marriage conducted in an unlicensed worship centre may also be dissolved in the Customary Court, since same isn’t qualified as a Statutory Marriage.
The Customary Court proceedings are often governed by the Customary Law of a specific state.
Lastly, it must be noted that Nigeria’ s divorce process is actually longer than that of foreign jurisdictions.
In order for the dissolution of marriage to achieve success in Nigeria, the petitioner must bring his or perhaps the petition of her in line with the grounds stipulated in the Matrimonial Causes Act and should meet the demands of the law.
By Family Law Team at Resolution Law Firm
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