Contrary to the public perception, there is nothing like signing divorce papers in our matrimonial jurisprudence- Nigerian lawyer says

Sunday, June 9, 2024 
-A Nigerian lawyer has said that contrary to the public perception, there is nothing like signing divorce papers in matrimonial jurisprudence in Nigeria. 

 The Nigerian lawyer @egi_nupe__, stated this while reacting to a recent interview granted by Maureen Ezissi, ex-wife of actor, Blossom Chukwujekwu, where she stated that they are technically still married as she is yet to sign their divorce papers.

 Reacting via X, the Nigerian lawyer said the signing of divorce papers is alien to Nigerian laws. Explaining how divorce in Nigeria works, the lawyer wrote;

‘’Contrary to the public perception about “signing divorce papers” there’s nothing like that in our matrimonial jurisprudence. I blame this on nollywood for misleading the public by copying the American style sheepishly.

 Under the Nigerian law, there are three known types of marriages: statutory marriage, Islamic marriage and Customary marriage. This, dissolution of marriage is dependent on the type of marriage you contracted.

 1. If it is a statutory marriage, which is erroneously called “court marriage”, the only way to dissolve the marriage is through a court order. It is through a process of presenting a petition for the dissolution of marriage and going through the entire process of trial and judgment. Upon being satisfied that the marriage has broken down irretrievably, the Court gives Order Nisi which is for 3months and after which the Order becomes Absolute and the marriage is completely dissolved. Neither of this Orders requires the signature of the husband or wife to be effective. It’s a Court Order signed by the Judge and Registrar that ends the marriage.

 2. If it is a customary marriage, the return of bride price is sufficient to dissolve the marriage. No formality is required and no document is needed to be signed. Once the pride price is returned, they cease to be husband and wife. But because of the enactments made by the states, customary marriages now undergo judicial processes to be dissolved.

 3. Dissolution of Islamic marriages is similar to customary marriages above. Once the man pronounces Talaq three times, the marriage ceases to exist and it may also go through judicial process to be effective.

 From the above, none of three types of marriages requires “signing of divorce papers” by the parties to the marriage to be effective.''


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