The Divorce Laws in Nigeria is all-encompassing and has put into consideration various scenarios that could lead to a dissolution of marriage.
In 1990, Matrimonial Causes Act was developed and became a part of the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria. This is represented in Chapter 220, section 15 & 16.
The Matrimonial relief section covers areas which include:
- Hearing when reconciliation fails.
- Statements, etc., made in course of attempt to effect reconciliation.
- Marriage conciliator to take oath of secrecy.
On the dissolution of marriage areas covered include issues pertaining to:
- Grounds for dissolutionof marriage.
- Additional provisions to encourage reconciliation.
- Constructive desertion.
- Refusal to resume cohabitation.
- Desertion continuing after insanity.
- Restriction on finding of non-consummation.
- Aggregation of concurrent sentences in reckoning imprisonment.
- Restriction on finding of non-maintenance.
- Restriction on finding of insanity.
- Power to refuse to make decree without maintenance, etc., in proper case.
- Condonation and connivance.
- Discretionary bars.
- No dissolution where petition for nullity before court.
- Petition within two years of marriage.
- Claims for damages.
- Joinder of adulterers an so on.
- Effect of dissolution of marriage.
For Nullity of marriage areas represented in the law include:
- Ground for decree of nullity of marriage.
- Who may institute proceedings.
- Incapacity to consummate marriage.
- Restrictions on certain grounds.
- Effect of decree of nullity of a voidable marriage.
- Judicial separation
- Grounds for judicial separation.
- Application to judicial separation of sundry sections of this Part.
- Effect of decree of judicial separation.
- Effect on rights to sue, devolution of property, etc.
- Exercise of joint powers not affected.
- Decree of judicial separation not to bar subsequent proceedings for dissolution of marriage.
- Discharge of decree of judicial separation on resumption of cohabitation.
The Divorce law is very clear and should therefore be the point of reference for any case of divorce in Nigeria.