Editor's note: Ideally, the marital union is supposed to be a life contract between the husband and the wife. But unresolved issues may lead to an unfortunate situation where the marriage ends up in separation.
In this piece, Legit.ng's contributor, Saheed Akinola esq, a legal practitioner, human rights crusader and writer, writes about seven things that must be done before getting a divorce in Nigeria.
Saheed gives legal advice on a variety of issues bordering on rights violation and he could be reached via:firstname.lastname@example.org +2348032493960.
Divorce is obviously not a very pleasant subject to discuss, considering its effect on both parties and the children of the union and a person in a marriage would always be urged to exercise greater restraint.
However, there could be a situation that may make a union be difficult. Such situations may include chronic domestic violence and assault, which could lead to injury or death.
Once all options to make your marriage work have been explored and you could not be reconciled and you have resolved and made up your mind to get a divorce, here are the steps you should take.
1. There must be a plan where you are going to live. If you want the court to grant you custody of the children of the marriage, one of the facts you will have to establish in court is where you will live with them.
2. Divorce proceedings cost money from filing till when the dissolution is granted by the court. You will equally need some money to take care of the children after the children if you are given their custody
3. Part of what the court will consider to grant any of the parties custody of the children, is the kind of job you are doing and how much is your income. This is to determine your capability and capacity in taking care of the children. If you don’t have a job you have to get one to be able to convince the court that you have the wherewithal to take care of their welfare.
4. You should start keeping a record of your expenses with receipt some months before filing the petition. This will be useful if you are claiming maintenance from the other party. You can use this fact to claim alimony especially if your spouse is the one who prevented you from working.
5. Make copies of all important documentation like marriage certificates, children’s birth certificates. Any properties you own together that you believe you have a substantial claim or interest in
6. If your marriage falls under statutory marriage you should get a lawyer that will file your petition for divorce at the high court in Nigeria.
7. For you to claim maintenance or even division of property you will have to establish facts with evidence of your spouse’s income and assets. This will include salary slips, bank statements, property deeds etc. Make sure you get copies of all these things if they are available.
It is better to strive towards resolving the differences between you and your spouse before you approach a lawyer. Divorce is the last option where alternative resolution and reconciliation have failed. Where the marriage has totally broken down irretrievably the court will dissolve the marriage.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that about some steps to take to recover money from debtors who fail to pay back.
It was reported that a well-drafted agreement will contain clause(s) that will detail the modus of recovering debt or invested capital.