Grounds for Divorce in Nigeria – Adultery and Intolerability
Its not enough to establish that a party to a marriage has committed adultery ( and contrary to what I have read elsewhere recently it DOES NOT only apply to the wife or female party). Remember evidence of adultery can be circumstantial, the court will consider preponderance of evidence and not proof beyond reasonable doubt. The court will look for opportunity and familiarity.
There are a number of circumstances were adultery is generally presumed
1. where the parties are living together
2. Bigamy is proof of adultery
3. Confessions of adultery are also proof
4. The fathers name registered on a child’s birth certificate
5. Frequent visits to brothels
6. Sexually transmitted diseases that the other spouse does not also have
The petitioner in a divorce case also needs to prove that he or she now finds it intolerable to live with the respondent. This intolerability need not arise as a result of the adultery but there must be evidence of intolerability. If for instance a wife no longer desires to have sex with her husband and her husband resorts to raping her that could be evidence of intolerability. On the other hand if a wife does have sex with her husband after he commits adultery does not condone him.
Evidence of intolerability is completely subjective, its all about what the petitioner feels and not what a reasonable man or woman may feel.
Its not enough to prove adultery, to sustain this ground for a divorce there must be both and there must be evidence of both.
If you have questions don’t hesitate to get in touch