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Divorcing While Pregnant in Nigeria: Is it Allowed or Not?

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Divorcing While Pregnant in Nigeria Is it Allowed or Not

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Divorce is a challenging and emotional process, and when combined with the complexities of pregnancy, it can become even more overwhelming. In Nigeria, like in many other countries, divorce laws can vary, and it is essential to understand the legal implications and rights surrounding divorcing while pregnant. This article aims to shed light on the subject and provide an overview of the current situation in Nigeria.

The Legal Perspective

Nigeria operates a dual legal system, consisting of both statutory and customary laws. Under the statutory law, specifically the Matrimonial Causes Act of 1970, a woman can file for divorce on the grounds of adultery, cruelty, desertion, or any other recognized grounds. However, the Act does not explicitly address the issue of divorcing while pregnant.

Divorce Process During Pregnancy

While the Matrimonial Causes Act does not specifically prohibit divorcing while pregnant, it is important to note that the courts in Nigeria may exercise discretion when dealing with such cases. The court’s primary concern is the best interests of the child, and they may take into account the stage of pregnancy and the potential impact of the divorce proceedings on the mother and the unborn child.

In some instances, the court may postpone the divorce proceedings until after the birth of the child to ensure stability and minimize stress for the pregnant woman. This decision is made on a case-by-case basis, and it is essential to consult with a legal professional to understand how the specific circumstances may be considered by the court.

Child Custody and Support

When divorcing while pregnant, issues of child custody and support become crucial. Nigerian courts prioritize the best interests of the child when determining custody arrangements. Factors such as the mother’s ability to provide care, the father’s involvement, and the overall welfare of the child are taken into consideration.

Regarding child support, the court may order the father to provide financial assistance for the child’s upbringing, including medical expenses, education, and general welfare. The amount of child support is determined based on various factors, such as the income and financial capacity of both parents.

Seeking Legal Advice

Given the complexities surrounding divorcing while pregnant in Nigeria, it is highly recommended to seek legal advice from a qualified family lawyer. They can guide you through the legal process, help you understand your rights and responsibilities, and provide the necessary support during this challenging time.

Conclusion

While there is no explicit prohibition on divorcing while pregnant in Nigeria, the courts may exercise discretion based on the best interests of the child. It is crucial to consult with a legal professional to understand how the specific circumstances may be considered and to navigate the divorce process effectively. Remember, seeking legal advice and support can provide the necessary guidance and ensure that your rights and the welfare of your child are protected.

This article was updated 1 month ago

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