Man & Woman

Once in a while, things do fall apart

Crisis is part of everyday life. Human beings think and act differently based on several factors, to have a healthy union; we must develop structures by which crisis can be well managed by individuals.
Crisis help fuel the popularity and acceptability of hip-hop music in the 20th century, crisis can be toxic and beneficial, depending on the parties involved.
Culturally, getting married is an essential feature for Nigerians; the celebration is usually a fusion of the extended families as the union binds not only the couple but also the families.
It has however been noted that the divorce rate in Nigeria is increasing at an alarming rate although there are no concise data yet on this phenomenon.
There are various perspectives to the issue of divorce in Nigeria, the stand Nigerians take on divorce usually depends on their perspectives.
Sometime in 1970, the Matrimonial Causes Act (MCA) was enacted, replacing the old Marriage Ordinance that was in force in Nigeria. The MCA is the law that governs statutory marriage in the country. A statutory marriage is the one that is contracted under the Marriage Act (A.K.A. Court Marriage) while Customary Marriage is conducted under native law and custom.
Customary Marriage can be dissolved by the appropriate Customary Court or (a.) when the wife leaves the husband and refunds the bride price,
(b.) mutual consent of the couple,
(c.) when the husband sends the wife packing.
A statutory marriage on the other hand can only be dissolved by the High Court of Justice and there are grounds for filing for dissolution of marriage.
Nigerian courts do not encourage divorce; most Judges compel Lawyers to explore various forms of reconciliation before hearing the petition for divorce whereby lawyers have to proof to the court that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.
Some of the avenues that lawyers use to proof that a marriage has broken down irretrievably include:
1.) When a spouse behaves in a way that the partner cannot be expected to live with him/her.
2.) When a spouse deserts a partner.
3.) When a spouse refuses to have sexual intercourse with the partner.
4.) When a spouse commits adultery.
5.) When a spouse is missing for a long time.
6.) When a spouse fail to comply with court order for restitution of conjugal rights.
7.) When parties have lived apart consistently for a period of time.
Petition for dissolution of marriage cannot be filed within two years of marriage without the permission of the court except the petitioner can proof that the spouse engaged in:
1.) Rape.
2.) Sodomy or bestiality.
3.) Adultery.
4.) Persistent refusal to consummate the marriage.
A party wishing to dissolve a marriage that is less than two years outside the above listed grounds must first seek for the leave of the court to file.
Nigerian courts are always interested in seeking reconciliation.
Of paramount importance to the court is the welfare of the children, the courts are always interested in knowing how they will be cared for after the marriage has been dissolved.
The Nigerian legal system is still evolving to adapt to a fast changing world. The issue of spousal support has not yet been finally ruled upon in Nigeria.
Socially, we regard women as the weaker gender around here but that might be far from the truth as there are many women these days that are the bread winner of the family and take more active roles in the family than some husbands. It will develop the scope of the Nigerian law to see a man test the waters by filing for spousal support after a failed marriage from the wife. It will be interesting to know how the court will swing on this as the law was not couched for women alone.
As earlier noted, seeking for counseling should be explored before filing for dissolution of marriage.
If a marriage is truly not working for whatever the reason after seeking for counsel from professionals, cut it off and move on but do it legally and try to avoid acrimony.

 

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