Marriage Disputes in Nigeria: Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms as a Means of Resolution

 ABSTRACT

The issue of marriage disputes is without doubt one worthy of serious and utmost attention. In Nigeria, the primary and major method of resolving marriage disputes is via litigation through a petition to the court as stated in the Matrimonial Causes Act 1970. Although the Act tends to provide for another means of resolution asides litigation, it seems to be a shadow of the actual law. This article is a discourse on the current law of resolving matrimonial disputes, pointing out the inadequacies and suggest new mechanisms for resolving marriage disputes. The article recommends that Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms should be utilized in resolving marriage disputes. The doctrinal research methodology was utilized.

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An Overview of the Celebration of Statutory Marriage in Nigeria

ABSTRACT

Statutory marriage is one of the effects of Nigeria’s colonisation. In recent times, it has become quite popular and one of the reasons for this may be because the party who seeks to dissolve it must prove to the court that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. In addition, parties to a statutory marriage feel safer, because in the event of a dissolution, the law makes provisions for custody of the children of the marriage, maintenance and even settlement of property, hence, there is always something to fall back on. A major problem with the celebration of statutory marriage in Nigeria is that most people do not know how it is celebrated properly; in effect there are quite a number of voidable marriages which become legal, upon ratification. Another problem is that a number of sections of the Marriage Act are out-dated, and do not address important issues like marriageable age, a precise definition of marriage in the Nigerian context, which includes polygamous and monogamous marriages.  The ultimate objective of the paper is to critically examine the celebration of statutory marriage in Nigeria, in accordance with the provisions of the Marriage Act. In light of this, the paper seeks to analyse the following; the celebration of statutory marriage in Nigeria, formal and essential requirements for the validity of a statutory marriage and give recommendations on a reform of the out-dated Marriage Act.

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The Dissolution of Statutory Marriage in Nigeria: The Need for Reform

ABSTRACT

In Nigeria, the Matrimonial Causes Act makes extant provisions for the dissolution of a statutory marriage. This legislation was enacted in 1970 and has not been made subject to any amendments from then until now. This work seeks to identify the issues with the provisions of the Act in light of the recent social, cultural and economic developments. This work, like Aguda, studies the Act from a socio-legal perspective, taking into cognizance, the social and cultural positions of Nigeria on pious issues like marriage and divorce. In doing so, the work would include recommendations for the amendment of the Act, as it has become ultimately necessary to do so, in the interest of the sanctity awarded to the idea of marriage in Nigeria. Read More…