GROUNDS FOR JUDICIAL SEPARATION IN NIGERIA

WHEN THERE IS CONFLICT, AND LIFE IS GETTING INVOLVED: SEEK JUDICIAL SEPARATION

CHAMAN LAW FIRM

5/18/2022 2 min read

GROUNDS FOR JUDICIAL SEPARATION IN NIGERIA

Judicial Separation is a matrimonial relief granted to parties in a marriage when they do not have the intention to dissolve their marriage. The essence is to relieve the petitioner of the duty of cohabitation with the respondent for matrimonial misconduct such as cruelty or adultery. Under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1970, judicial separation can be granted on the same grounds as those for a grant of divorce.

Another basis for Judicial Separation is when there is desertion for at least two (2) years or failure of the respondent to comply with the decree for restitution of conjugal rights. Prior to the commencement of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1970, there was no minimum time within which a petition for Judicial Separation could be presented. However, the “two-year Rule” provided under Section 30 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1970, has been made applicable to Judicial Separation.

This above implies that, a petition for Judicial Separation cannot be presented to the court if the parties have been married for less than 2 years except they obtain the leave of the court. The High Court of the various states in Nigeria is the court of first instance and the jurisdiction of the court emanates from the domicile of the parties or in the case of the wife on her residence.

The grounds for judicial separation as set out in Section 15(1) of the Matrimonial Causes Act, No. 18, 1970 are:

1. Wilful and persistent refusal of the respondent to consummate the marriage.

2. The commission of adultery by the respondent and the intolerance of the petitioner to be able to live with him or her.

3. The respondent’s behaviour in a manner that the petitioner could not reasonably be expected to live with him or her.

4. Desertion of the respondent for a continuous period of one (1) year immediately preceding the presentation of the petition.

5. Living apart of the spouses for a continuous period of at least two (2) years immediately preceding the petition and if the respondent does not object to the petition.

6. Living apart for a continuous period of three (3) years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition.

7. The failure of the other party for a period of not less than one (1) year to comply with the decree of restoration of conjugal rights.

8. Absence of the other party from the petitioner as to be presumed dead.

NB: This article is not a legal advice, and under no circumstance should you take it as such. All information provided are for general purpose only. For information, please contact chamanlawfirm@gmail.com

WRITTEN BY CHAMAN LAW FIRM TEAM

EMAIL: chamanlawfirm@gmail.com

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