Legal Question in Family Law in Nigeria

i) My husband and I have been married for 3 years (statutory marriage) but havent lived together because he was resident in another country before we were married and travelled back 2 wks after our wedding to apply for permanent residence for us so we can join him. However, we kept in touch. He has only visited Nigeria twice since we were married, and we lived together one out of those times, the second time we dint because we were having issues due to interference from my in-laws. Now he wants a divorce on ground of separation for 3yrs. Permanent residence has been issued and is now expired because he seized my passport and refused me to travel. Will the court grant the divorce considering we have never lived together as a couple? I still want reconciliation.

ii) He still lives in the other country but he wants joint custody of our 3 yr old son, I want sole custody so i dont constantly require his consent where our son is concerned. I am a working mom living with my parents (he refused me to get a separate accommodation) and I have been solely responsible for our son's upkeep. while my husband reluctantly paid his school fees twice (every other time I paid). If the divorce is granted, will the court give me sole custody? Im ok with him having access rights.

Please advise me urgently. Thank you.

Asked on 1/22/17, 7:29 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Israel Usman Classfield Solicitors

You did not the country in which the marriage took place. I will assume that it was in Nigeria, and therefore, Nigerian law applies regardless of the country in which divorce is sought.

Ordinarily, divorce will be granted if you have lived apart for 2 years and the other party consents. or automatically if you have lived apart for a period of 3 years. However, living apart in the circumstances does not come within the contemplation of "living apart" under law in my view and I doubt if he will succeed in divorce proceedings.

Regarding custody, Nigerian courts prefer young children of tender age to be with their mother. Assuming then, that he succeeds in divorce proceedings, I do not see how any court will grant him custody, or even joint custody where he might take the child out of Nigeria and not return him. It is also possible for the court to grant you sole custody for a period, say until the boy is 11 years old, and the joint custody after that. The court can also order that if he moves the boy out of Nigeria at anytime, you must have regular access to him and your international travel costs borne by him.

The court will order maintenance for you and the boy, and also order him to pay for the educational expenses for the boy

Read more
Answered on 2/12/17, 7:41 am

Related Questions & Answers

More Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody and Adoption questions and answers in Nigeria