Grounds for Divorce in Nigeria

There are times when a couple feel that they can no longer live together and would like to part ways by way of divorce.

However, if the marriage is a customary marriage you must have valid reasons as stipulated by the law to get a divorce.

In seeking divorce, you are required to file a petition with the court

The divorce must be based on the ground that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.

The different grounds under which divorce can be sought include the following:

  1. There has been no sexual relationship between the couple (no consummation of the marriage).
  2. There is a case of adultery involving either of the couple.
  3. Presence of an unreasonable conduct such as rape, bestiality, habitual drunkard, sodomy, murderer, incarcerated (in prison),   attempted murder of spouse, intent to or actual commission of serious bodily injury or inability to take care of spouse.
  4. Abandonment of spouse which must have lasted for at least a year prior to filing of the divorce petition.
  5. Separation between the couple. For example if the couple has been living apart for a continued period as long as two years or even three years consecutively prior to the filing of the divorce petition and no objection by the person you want to divorce from. Usually, after you file for divorce given separation as a reason, the court will verify with your spouse and ask if he or she wants to object. As long as there is no objection, this can be a ground for divorce
  6. Failure of either of the couple to comply with a court order regarding the marriage or the sexual rights or privilege of a marriage.
  7. Death or reason to believe that a spouse is dead or in cases of disappearance.
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