How to Get a Divorce in Nigeria

First of all what type of marriage do you have? There are two types of marriage in Nigeria. Statutory marriage and customary marriage.

A statutory marriage is contracted in a marriage registry and in some Churches eg the Catholic church marriages are recognised as statutory.

Customary marriages are contracted under the native law and custom of the brides paternal family. Not the groom. Marriage under Sharia is treated as customary marriage.

There is no such thing as a religious marriage recognised under Nigerian law. If your marriage was in a church that is not recognised by the courts under Matrimonial Causes case law it is considered a church blessing of a customary marriage.

If you’re not sure whether your church marriage is recognised speak to a lawyer or to your church administrator.

The type of marriage you have will determine the appropriate court to go and the lawyer you should hire. If its a statutory marriage you’ll need a lawyer with experience at the High Court.

A divorce in a customary marriage is initiated in a customary court or area court. Look for a lawyer with experience in those courts.

Choosing a lawyer is a very personal experience. Some lawyers do not take divorce matters on principle. Others believe it is their duty to reconcile a couple on verge of divorce and insist on mediation.

Personally I assume that by the time a party to a marriage comes to me for legal options the marriage has already broken down irretrievably. Mediation can be emotionally exhausting for parties and their lawyers.

I also think its wrong for a lawyer that is expected to represent a clients in litigation to first play role of judge and mediator.

In Nigeria before someone visits a lawyer to discuss their legal options family, friends and church have usually tried and failed to broker a reconciliation. Don’t let a lawyer brow beat you into something you don’t want.

Choose a lawyer that listens to your needs and puts them first, not his church, not his religion, not his messianic ego. Assess his or her understanding of matrimonial law and whether it meets your needs.

In my practice I meet clients whose previous lawyers had convinced they couldn’t get or didn’t deserve maintenance or settlement or custody. They felt uncomfortable with the lawyer but didn’t leave immediately.

If you’re not comfortable with the advice your lawyer is giving you go to another one. Keep talking with different lawyers till you find one you are comfortable with.

They’ll all try to keep you as a client, some are more insistent than others. Just remember you don’t have to retain a lawyer just because you stepped into his office. Ask if the lawyer charges a consultation fee and pay it.

If you don’t like what you hear you can leave without lying that you’ll be back and without feeling you have to retain this particular lawyer because you just spent the past hour interrogating him.

Of course its also just good manners. If I had a penny for every smart alec that spends hours grilling me then high tails out when they learn our fees. In my practice I no longer see clients without charging a consultation fee. Just respect for our time and yours. Its deductible from our fees if we take the case.
If you’re reading this then you can also search the online lawyers directories. Most of us wouldn’t hire a staff at home or office without interviewing several candidates. Don’t choose a lawyer just because he or she is ‘a friend’. Be as vigorous in assessing their experience and advice.

Beware of lawyers that hustle you, you know the hustle when you encounter it. The ones more intent on getting your money than explaining to you your rights and how they will secure them. The ones that use fancy legalese talk that you don’t understand.

That’s the whole point. For you not to understand and for them to appear even more powerful and god-like. You’ll always have problems with the glib talking lawyer. They’ll never listen to you. Its all about them.

Once you’ve chosen a lawyer and paid the agreed fees do take your lawyers advice. Your lawyer works for now and that means paid to give you the best advice possible on how to achieve your goals during your divorce process.

In my next post I’ll write about various grounds for divorce to help you assess whether you have enough grounds.


Posted by MzAgams with WordPress for BlackBerry.

Tags: , , ,

515 Responses to “How to Get a Divorce in Nigeria”

  1. Chioma Says:

    Hi mz_agams,

    Natalie Says:
    March 28, 2014 at 6:27 pm | Reply
    I have a question if you don’t mind. I am an American citizen and reside in America. I made a mistake getting married in Nigeria and I am seeking a divorce. Are there any specific steps that need to be done since I am not in Abuja, Nigeria to take care of this matter? What advice can you offer me?

    Thank you in advance for your time with addressing this matter.

    mz_agams Says:
    March 29, 2014 at 5:41 pm | Reply
    You are filing in the US? The only thing you are required to do is ensure that he is served the petition of divorce

    Please re-confirm again to me what you said here on your blog on March 29, 2014.
    THAT If living in the U. S and you are filling for a divorce in the U. S from a spouse living in Nigeria all that is required of you is to

    (full stop)

    Coincidentally this is what I was told to do in the Courthouse
    Self Help Center that I used in the U. S. Although they acknowledged that they do not know the applicable Nigerian Law with respect to serving a divorce summons because Nigeria is not a party to both the Hague Convention and the Inter American Conventions on Letters ROGATORY.

    So when I sent the summons home to be served to my estranged husband of 23years (separated and been living apart for 13yrs, he is in Nigeria). A lawyer that my sister consulted to use in serving the summons because she wanted a Bailiff to do it; said that since Nigeria in not part of any convention with America and is not in the Hague convention in the absence of that the :


    This demands the court in the U. S WRITE A REQUEST? to Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice after service, the process server shall file an affidavit of service etc.


    A much more complicated process than I expected. And the man has not been served up till now.

    1. A Bailiff is not required according to the form attached from U. S and anyone off the street can be used to do the serving. But my sister wanted to ensure that everything is done properly, so that there will be no chance of the divorce being null and void. That is why she consulted the lawyer there in Nigeria in the 1st place.

    The copies of the filled server form and a receipt of a 2nd copy of the summons mailed to defendant’s address, through DHL or FEDEX is mailed back to me in the U. S. This is what I will then take to courthouse here in the U. S to continue with the process.

    So right now I am confused. Is it not the same Nigerian law you both are quoting?


    (I am not sure what the other lawyer’s specialty is because he mentioned he researched).

    Seriously Concerned

    • mz_agams Says:

      Dear Seriously Concerned,

      Service can be formal or informal, in this case the High Court Rules for Lagos State set out a clear criteria for formal service, although after reading them I am not sure how they apply in matrimonial causes. If your sister is in Lagos I can introduce you to a lawyer that can offer a second opinion. If your husband is not in Lagos state the rules will not apply.

      Unfortunately I cannot provide more detailed counsel.

  2. collins Says:

    i have a statutory marriage in the marriage registry in 2007 and the woman left my house after 2month of the marriage, can i marry now in 2014? what is your advise after the woman infidelity which made her run away for 6years?

    • mz_agams Says:

      You still have to go to court to get a divorce certificate but having lived apart for almost 7 years it should be easy to show the marriage is irretrievably broken down

  3. Yetunde Says:

    Sorry I posted this in one of your other blog and saw this one. Pls see below;

    Dear ma,

    I married my ex husband in a traditional wedding in jul 2011 and we parted ways in June 2012. We had no children. I came to the USA that Dec and met my new husband. I had only the introduction ceremony with my former husband. Now my new husband wants to file for my green card and I am required to get my divorce papers from my previous marriage, which I do not have one.

    Please where can I go to get a divorce paper to show that we( my ex husband and I) are legally not together or do I just explain that I was not married but that would contradict my visa status as I stated married when I went for my visa in Jan of 2012. Please what do you advice I do ma? There is no documentation to show I was previously marriage as it is just an introduction done. What docs can I show the immigration office on this?

    Thanks ma.


  4. edd Says:

    divorce has become a norm in 2day’s Naija.. young lads no longer value the sanctity or matrimony… Hmmm what a pity

  5. edd Says:

    i like to know the penalty for remarrying without annulling the previous statutory marriage??

  6. helen ezihe-ndu Says:

    hello ma, i had a court marriage done in 2007 and a church wedding(catholic) in 2011. in 2012, my husband abandoned my kids n i 2 squat somewhere. he has not been contributing financially 2 the upkeep of the family. i live off my family,as i recently lost my job. i have hint of him involved in other relationships. i want to end it all and on with my life. what i need to do?

  7. Charity Says:

    Can a divorce be granted to a person who married for the period of five years without a child?

  8. Ifeoma Says:

    How do I get out from an abusive marriage?

  9. Akinola Osborne Says:

    hello ma, I was married under statutory marriage but my wife left with my 4months pregnancy in her. it’s 2years now she left me but she had my babe now and the baby is a year old. I have not been able to properly take care of the child because I can’t even reach the her. meaning, she doesn’t pick my calls and don’t know her whereabouts and also, as her parents will not help matters. I’d tried my possible best to bring back the home and also to at least see my child so that I will be responsible for his upbringing as a father even at his mother custody but all failed.
    ma, I know my right to file a divorce now on the grounds that we had separated over 2years but my question here is ” how and when can I have legal right over the child as a father? ”

  10. B@b¥f@c£ Says:

    Please house i need your candid advice.My younger sister got married under church blessing of customary marriage,she already had 3 children after the 3 children the husband started maltreating her and got her pregnant for the 4th child.After 6 months,the husband abandoned her and left home.No food,no money and no care for her and the children and she is pregnant for 2 months 2 weeks to the extent of delivering d baby alone @ home around 3am mid-night.Two days ago,he got a divorce letter from the husband…..Please what step can i take to revenge…Cos he has suffered my sister…

  11. bii Says:

    please can i get your contact i need to as a few questions. you can send me a mail

  12. W Says:

    i have a question, My was just a statutory type of married because we went to a local government registry and after some few hours, a certificate was issued. now my so called wife was thinking a have a girl friend and with the type of job I do, I must have been sleeping around, in return, she took our life saving, spent it all and never informed me, this lead to mistruth in the home, i then travelled to Ghana and when i came back, i notice she would go outside to receive a call, so i kept wondering who the caller was, i never new, my so called wife has a boy friend, any way , in a nut shell, she woke me up one Saturday morning about 0420hrs that she needs a divorce and that he is no longer in LOVE with me, can you believe she is still in my house, now if you’re my shoes, what would you do?

  13. Cynthia a Says:

    I got married in good faith this year.
    To a nigerian at regustry. Im from USA
    I love him very much. His complaint
    Is i ask too many question and make it appear as if im suspious. Im not. I just dont understand whats going on. He has become so busy he hadnt time for me. He sent me back to usa. So all we have is text-phone and yahoo video. I dont know what to do. I dont want a divorce. But do i need to come back for a divorce court? Please help me please

  14. Tonia Says:

    Hi, i got married when i was on a visit in Ghana, at the Marriage Registry and now need to apply for a divorce in Nigeria as my husband has completely left me alone. Can i apply for the divorce in Nigeria as some lawyers have told me that i should apply in Ghana or register my certificate first in Nigeria before commencing the divorce process.

    Please i need your help

  15. Abiodun Says:

    I have been seperated from husband in the past 3years and which to revert back to my maiden name. Please advise on what I need to do to have my maiden name. Thank you ma.

  16. adeloly Says:

    hello house i have a divorce suit in court for over 3 years now,please can i remarried now as i have gotten my own woman

  17. marriage authorities Realistically Says:

    Can yοս tel us mօre about this? I’ɗ love to find out somne additional information.

  18. Oluwatoyin Vincent Adepoju Says:

    How can I contact you to discuss working on a legal issue?

  19. Mezie Says:

    Dear Mz,
    I got married a couple of months ago, it wasn’t long before i discovered i was the lady i married only wanted to marry me because she needed to get out of her parents house…or maybe for the change in status as a pride to her peers.
    Her mum also confirmed this through a phone conversation with me, that she was not in goof terms with her husband, and the only thing keeping her with him was because she wanted her last daughter to get married. i also realized that her elder sister had a divorce too. not long, her mom had to tell me “that now that i am now a member of the family, they think its ripe to let me into some of their family secrets”and that’s how i found out all these and that her elder sister had a divorce too.

    All the scenarios was well played out to make sure i was in the net. I only dated the lady i married for about 6 months, only to engage her when i traveled abroad and she insisted on following even on her own bill.
    The pressure from her family was massive immediately, her mom even told me she would have dealt with me if i had come back without engaging her daughter.

    I could not think straight because of the pressure even though i was not ready at that time due to other plans. well…i succumbed and we got married. i realized i was crowed by her friends who would not let me think or look out, cos every fault i found was countered with “don’t worry no one is perfect”

    Its a number of months down the line and its so different now…i felt i had made a mistake. She seems more interested in everything about protecting the marriage documents than the relationship. I have complained about this to her several times that she hardly ask about my health or work except her marriage documents(court and trad) and things about her family.

    I feel really caged, she just is not my type, cant sleep because she snores, we quarrel everyday because she’s very untidy. I get scared whenever she goes to work cos she works on the field and sometimes we can communicate, because the thoughts of her past of sleeping with a guy on duty before we met still haunts me.

    I have tried to blank all this, but looks like i am doomed to deal with it. i’m not sure that this is what marriage should, endure rather than enjoy it.

    I am glad we have no kids now and its a little easier for us, i guess. I desperately need out and don’t know whats the best way to get away quietly so i can get back to my life instead of suffering because I’m scared of what people would say. its hell living with someone you are not connected to.

    Please respond, i need you advice.

    Thank you.


  20. Mezie Says:

    Thank you Mz,

    I don’t know any lawyer though, but i will try talking to a few people who may know a good lawyer.

  21. Mezie Says:

    i will,
    thank you.

  22. OMA Says:

    Hello,i got married in july 2010,evrything seem well until i lost my job. i have two girl, i am now a stay at home mum, thou currently working on and off at my parents business but not with a steady income. my husband has change,distant,abusive,judgemental. basically issues surrounding money and financies. Recently, he has become physically abusive and claims to regret whenever it happens. i have come to the point where i feel i am tired of being humiliated and disrespected. i was a high earner and d crime i commited was to no longer have a well paid job. i want out.. i dont know were to start, i want full custody of my children. im only 31 and i feel drained of life already. wot are my chances of getting full custody of my kids? im the primary care giver.. i have no maid or relative that lives with me. my kids are my life!!! i just want a way out of this.. my husband is a hands on, never letting go agreessive die hard person..he is already ready for war n trouble. i need help. i just want to breath and be happy.. and move on with my life and my girls 4 n 2 years old. he is a banker.. loud proud and never backing down. i tot i was loved but now im d maid who get abuse and disgraced in front of family members. he is now interested in porn and flirting with evrything in skirt. i want out! Get me out of here!

  23. elizabeth Says:

    hello madam, i just came across your sight this morning. Madam, please help me, i am troubled. I have been married for over 15yrs now. i have three kids. we under statutory marriage law in Nigeria. the marriage has been characterized by abuse, intimidation, rejection, oppression, shame and disgrace. Now he is telling my family that he wants to part ways with me. i don’t have a problem with that. my problem is my children, what our separation will do to them and if we eventually divorce what is the guaranty that i will get custody of my children. furthermore, whats the guaranty that i will not regret getting the divorce. what is the guaranty that i will not be worse off with the divorce.

  24. Igwe Says:

    Hello please, can I marry in rivers state and dissolve the marriage in a customary court in lagos?

  25. femi akinwande Says:

    I have been hearing about divorce certificate, but is there actually a certificate been issued by the court apart from a decree nissi or court judgement?

  26. tope Says:

    Nice post. I actually wish to find out if a marriage of less than a year can be dissolved

  27. Tracy C Says:

    Hello dear,i married my husband in 2010 and we have two girls,from that time till now i have been struggling to have peace in my home.I noticed that 80% of our quarrels is caused by his family.He doesn’t have a steady job,hes too negative and he believes some much in what his family tells him,he sees me as the evil one which always left me heart broken(the story is too long) but I’m working and i contribute to almost everything in the house.I’m scared if i continue to stay in this marriage i might go crazy,hes always threatening me with divorce and i think I’m ready to leave the marriage.But my fear is that if i can have the custody of my 2 girls knowing the system in Nigeria court where the husband is mostly favored.I don’t know if there has been some changes in Nigeria court of law in the areas of marriage.

  28. cimi Says:

    pls have been married for 15 yrs i got married in year 2000 at local govt regestry i have 3 children ,but i cant coop again ,my husband maltreated ,married a second wife av been managing it for 10 yrs now ,its affecting me psicologically i am fed up please what do i do ?

  29. Kunle Alabi Says:

    Kindly assist me Ma, i been married for 5years at local government registry in Oyo state though, we are waiting unto the God for child but that is not the issue here now.

    The issue is that i noticed since about a year ago that my wife is having extra marital affairs i confirmed this after noticed her several times hiding around the rooms, making and receiving long night calls and keeping away her from me. But latter i got through hacking into her Facebook account and I printed all the conversation which she had with her lover boy in the US.

    This man has sent her money twice which she lied to me that she got money through her friend or relation. I showed her the printed conversation which she had with the new love just to serve as my proof and reason to fill for divorce. She is been sexually inactive for like more one year now whenever i approach her for she either make some untenable excuses or she results into total disagreement.

    This is a lady i married against all odd i mean despite all my family pressure mostly from my mum side. my dad gave full support and encouraged me to marry her before we went ahead to the registry and sealed up the deal. Now this is what am facing i don’t think i can continue because of her infidelity though she begged that it will never happen again but i know for sure for that by being play smart.
    I believe she can never stop having this affair as she enjoys financial gains from it.
    I have never reported this incident to any of our family member. I do not have any replace for her presently but, based on this infidelity of her, i want to divorce her.

    Please i need your advice

    Thank you.

  30. Bill Iddie Says:

    Goodmorning mz,I just camr across your site now. I have been married for little over a year ,We had a court and traditional marriage.The problem I have now is that my wife has become very insolent and abusive,she is busy talking to several men,She doesnt care about my welfare anymore,she doesnt cook for me or anything of the sort. We have a son ,who is just a bout a year old now. She recently took my son away ,to her parents house and when I went there she hid the child from me,when her mother eventually brought out the child ,she wouldnt let me carry him. I am really tired of my wife’s attitude,she even asks me to pay her for sex,and has no interest in pleasing me. I am desperately hoping to file for a divorce as I am living in hell now. please advise,thanks.

  31. Bill Iddie Says:

    She left the house,saying she had an interview to attend,she did this while I was at work and just sent a text saying she was going to her parents place,so they can look after my son,while she was away at work. She hasnt returned till today,its over a week now.
    Also a few days before she left for her parents house,she also told me she had an interview,her Mum came over to the house,to babysit for her. That evening when she came back,I noticed a set of toiletries,the sort that guests are given when they stay at a hotel.
    The very next few days she left for her parents place.
    I have reason to suspect she spent time with another man in a hotel and is still doing so,while at her parents.
    I am yet to confront her on this,but will do so when I go to see my Son.
    Her Mum always sides her and can never tell her she did wrong,no matter what. I am willing and ready to divorce her,but dont know all the options before the law.
    Please,what do you suggest I do.

  32. Ennytan R Says:

    I came across this site and I believe it can be of help to me. I got married 2013 Dec, months to my wedding I noticed some strange things about my husband, I tried to cut off the wedding but my parents will not allow me, even friends around started saying bad bad things, I went into the marriage believing all will be well.
    Right from the first day our wedding 9t, my husband was screaming from sleep, terrible screaming, also I notice he do act strange as one that has mental problem, also he never had sex with me, he can not perform, I have tried all my best by asking him to let go to the hospital and for deliverance but he always turn it to a fight, I involve his mum but the mum kept treating me not to tell any one, I later involve his father but it got worsen every time.
    Through out our courtship I did not spend a night with him we had a godly relationship,( he claimed to b born again) he his always with his parents, that where I visited him, he hardly stay in his own house.
    I later involve my parents and we have a family meeting my parents his parents and both of us, after insulting my parents which he always do on the phone he walk away from the meeting. His mum ask him to speak from the depth of his mind if he want the marriage and he said he his not interested in the marriage again.
    Before the thing grew worst and we had the meeting, his mum ask me not to be going for special prayers, ori oke, camp , shilo e.t.c and my husband to always pick up a fight anytime I go for prayer program , but if its a party there will be no problem, I can go for days, flex and do stuff but if it prayer thing, its trouble. Bcos I see our problem as more of spiritual I keep going to church and that why my mother in law want me out of the house. Also he(my husband) kept telling people I want to kill him so that I can inherit his father wealth since he his the only son out of 4, ( my father sponsor our wedding, I even spend more than my husband for the wedding, his parents came 10days to the wedding and ask what they should contribute and my dad told them everything is set, bfor his father send a million naira, my wedding was like a celebrity wedding bcos my father spend millions as his first and favorites child) my husband also told people in church and our area that myself and my family want to turn him to dandi /mumu / slave / want to lock him inside tin, bla bla bland and bfor he do something to himself and say its me and end my life in prison, I was planning to leave his house but fortunately I left his house February this year because he locked me out of the house for going to vigil (Ori Oke) and pack all my things at the entrance of the sitting room/ veranda

    After leaving his house I kept dreaming him and his mum beating me up and when I wake up is either I fall sick or I see mark on my body or I will b heavy to stand up, I have to go through some deliverance and I still have more to go through, because I was running mad at a time.

    Am tired of the whole situation, there are a lot I can say in this forum, I want a divorce, please how can I go about it. I don’t want to answer their name again. I want to be free, I want to even relocate.
    Though I did not do change of name and did not return the certificate
    I suppose to take back to registry.

    Please how can I go about the divorce? Thanks

  33. joan Says:

    Please I want to know if a couple must go to the court to get a divorce. can’t it be settled amicably without involving the court? just between the parties involved and their lawyers. Thanks

  34. udoamaka Says:

    pls ma, I got married in dec 2012 to a malaysia based guy who was introduced to me by his mum who happens to be a friend to my Aunty. I meet him face to face 2 weeks b4 the wedding though we have being talking on phone b4 then. I wasn’t comfortable with the malaysia stuff at first but he assured me he was a student there and will soon be rounding up with his studies b4 dec 2013 and that he also works there. Unknown to me that he was a yahoo guy and that’s what he does for a living and the whole family knew he was into it and also a chain smoker yet they hid that from me. He only spent 2 wks after our wedding b4 travelling bk and since then has never stepped foot into the country. Leaving me to stay with his mum in there parents house cos he had no house here, I was automatically turned to a house help trying to please everyone, until one day I couldn’t hold it and sent him a text that I wasn’t comfortable staying in there family house, he grew angry and reported me to the mum who now took the matter up and invited all her daughters to deal with me. I begged forgiveness for months as I wanted the marriage to work but I was later pushed out of the house with the son backing their action and he never wanted to marry me that he was only forced by parents to marry since they needed something that bring him home and that he doesn’t believe in love. they took all my parents bought for me as a gift cos the wedding was almost sponsored by my father alone being his first daughter. I already filed for divorce but not really satisfied with the lawyer, just want to know if I can still get those my properties as the claim its theirs and how long it can take me to get through with it cos I have move on with my life.

    • mz_agams Says:

      I don’t know when you filed your divorce but it can take two or even three years. As for the gifts you can claim them in your pleadings

  35. Amara Says:

    My husband has said he wants a divorce and will file papers in Nogeria. We got married- court marriage- in Nigeria. I live in England with my children. Pls would you let me know what happens with the children? Do we agree as parents about custody? My kids are 11 and 8.

  36. essy akin Says:

    hello madam
    I did a wedding at the registry with my partner and presently we have been together for 2yrs but for the past 5 months we have not had sex. I have asked him for divorce but he said he does not have time for that since we have both agree to go separately. i am still looking for a house so we still stay under the same roof. please i just went went to the clinic and my doctor confirmed i am a month pregnant. this was as a result of the sex i had with a friend when i wanted sex badly and my hubby was not ready to give me. please if i keep the baby is there any legal punishment for me since we have not legally divorce?

    • mz_agams Says:

      file for a divorce as soon as possible, and move out of the house. A paternity test will settle the matter but some traditional customs say if bride price is been paid all children belong to man that paid. See about refunding the bride price soon

  37. chukwu roselyn Says:

    sir, I really appreciate your post, sir please I went you to help me . am a young lady who is striving to useful in my life but one young man came to destroy my life . I got marry traditional with a certain guy on 23 of November 2014
    who lives in Lagos who I meet in aba Abia state in 2011 where my parents live while I reside in Abuja after my youths service. we got married only after 2weeks of the marriage to get a call from someone that some lady have to sons for the man I got married to and the lady is living in his family house in Lagos though he didn’t marry the lady.
    sir I have made up my mind to leave they marriage and my people has being calling him to come take back his bride price and he has bluntly refuse to come his reasons being that he don’t want to loss me that he did everything he did to marry me because if I know about him having kids that I will not accept to marry him.
    sir please what should I do to give him back his bride price since he don’t want to because i can’t continue with marriage. thank you sir.

  38. Bola Says:

    Please madam, how much does it cost to get a lawyer fro a divorce case? I have contacted two and was charged N200,000, which looks outrageous to me.

  39. Chybs Says:

    hello ma, i got married before i left Nigeria and ever since then the marriage has not been working. my wife and i have agreed to go on our seperate ways and i want to know what it will cost to get a divorce paper here in Nigeria

  40. Precious Says:

    I need a clarification. I was married years ago. I have been responsible for myself and the children, I have been severally abused, accused, suspected and ridiculed in public. I am currently filing for divorce but want o clarify what my chances are _ I married in church but we put notification at the marriage registry before the marriage.

    My questions:

    1. My last child is 15 years, what chance do I have to keep her with me
    2. We have been separated for the past 4.5 years, do you see the final of the divorce anytime soon.

    What are my chances of succeeding,
    Thanks. Precious

    • mz_agams Says:

      Pretty good. At 16 your last child can decide who to live with and after 4 to 5 years separated the court will assume complete breakdown. Time depends on so many things – the judiciary, your lawyer etc but it could take up to two or three years

      • Bola Thompson Says:

        Thank you so much.I have another question. Is it alright to start another relationship and if yes, how far can I go? Can we do formal introduction with both families? Can we live together? I want to know what is right under the law before any step.Regards, Precious. From: MzAgamsSent: Sunday, September 13, 2015 1:04 PMTo: thompsonprecious7@gmail.comReply To: MzAgamsSubject: [New comment] How to Get a Divorce in Nigeria

        a:hover { color: red; } a { text-decoration: none; color: #0088cc; }

        a.primaryactionlink:link, a.primaryactionlink:visited { background-color: #2585B2; color: #fff; } a.primaryactionlink:hover, a.primaryactionlink:active { background-color: #11729E !important; color: #fff !important; }

        /* @media only screen and (max-device-width: 480px) { .post { min-width: 700px !important; } } */

        mz_agams commented: “Pretty good. At 16 your last child can decide who to live with and after 4 to 5 years separated the court will assume complete breakdown. Time depends on so many things – the judiciary, your lawyer etc but it could take up to two or three years “

  41. Lexi Says:

    Hi Mz

    I got married to my husband at a Lagos State registry in 2005, but got separated just over 3 years ago, after 7 years of marriage. We have no children.

    Although we both live in the UK, our marriage is not register under the UK law. I now want to file for divorce on the ground that we have been separated for over 3 years.

    1) Do I need to use a lawyer or can I file the divorce myself?

    2) If he consent to divorce and there are no other issues involve, such as division of assets e.t.c, would the process still take years to complete, or can this be done within months?

    3) Would it suffice to file the divorce on the ground of over 3 years separation alone, or would I have to add other ground to it to strengthen my case, i.e reasons for the break down of the marriage and so on?


  42. Samuel Sunday Says:

    Dear Mz

    Thanks for this forum. I did a registry marriage with a lady last year because we wanted to travel. Her sister who resides in the UK told me to apply for Uk visa after the marriage and that as soon as my visa is granted and travel to the UK I would file for her.

    It worked out as planned. Now we are both in the UK but living separately because the sister who housed us sent me out because I could not get job in time. I have been staying with a friend since then. We never had any sexual intercourse and we have no property together. We are only in the UK on work permit and this will soon expired.

    Please can I file for divorce in Nigeria?



    • mz_agams Says:

      Your wife will have to be served in the UK and that may prove difficult and expensive. You can file in the UK also

      • Lexi Says:

        Hello again. Thanks for answering my question. Our messages are immediately above this.

        I just want to make a quick correction, especially relevant to those living outside Nigeria like myself.

        You can get divorce anywhere in the world, as long as the country you are living recognise Nigerian marriage, i.e if it meets their requirement. So the first step is to find out from the relevant government department in your country of resident.

        I can confirm that if you got married in Nigeria, you can get divorce in the UK. There is no need to get divorce in Nigeria. Same for those in the USA.

        I live in the UK and got married in Nigeria, and about to start my divorce here in the UK. If you are in the UK and need further information, please visit the UK government website at for more information.

        Thank you.

  43. bidemi Says:

    Pls Ma I need ur help.av been married for over 2yrs nw at a Local Government registry,with 2kids(twins).my husband has been coursing a lot of problems in our marriage. He made us known as d fighting couples in our neighborhood.he calls everybody into our family affair i.e my families, his own families,friends and any neighbor he could set his eyes on and he his ready to fight anybody who advice him that he his wrong .he lies concerning everything and always painting me black.there are so many other disastrous behaviors which I can’t discuss conclusion is dat we are not meant to be.and all this shows is not gud for d kids.i want a divorce and I want to know if I will get d custody of d children.pls I need ur urgent advice. Thks.

  44. Judi Says:

    I’m so confused , and have been reading everything, Is my marriage legal in the eyes and laws of Nigeria? My husband and I were married July 2013 in Abeokuta an official register officiated our marriage, we had many witness’s and signatures on our marriage license. I do have legal grounds to acquire a divorce. Would it be quicker and less expensive for me to go to Nigeria to get it? or in the US. as this is were I live and I’m an AMERICAN CITIZEN, my husband still lives in Lagos as the visa has yet to be granted, The US accepted him and all our documents, but Nigeria has an issue of our marriage. If anyone has any valid and legal information that would help me, I would appreciate it immensely, before it is to late or I make a big mistake. I’m not comfortable discussing certain aspects of our marriage and reasons publicly. Thank you in advance, if anyone has any information.

    • mz_agams Says:

      if you have a copy of the marriage certificate you can file in the US and will probably be cheaper and quicker over. AND you can get a no fault divorcee in the US, you cant in Nigeria

      • confusedworried Says:

        Ty so much and unfortunately he still has the marriage license as I had to send it with my visa application and they gave it back to him at his interview there. And I forgot to get it back the last few times I was there.Will have to get it next time I’m there or ask him again to mail it to me He wouldn’t when I asked before but he thought I was going to destroy it. Thank You for your time and information it did help me a lot. Judi Molinaro/Ogundola

        • mz_agams Says:

          Dear Confused and worried. Do take heart and you can get a certified true copy of the certificate from the registry where you got married. I’m sure he doesn’t want to send it to you because he also knows that its the only proof yo are married and without it you cant file for a divorce. Good luck

  45. Judi Says:

    how long does it take for a reply.? or comment. If I can e-mail you;? as there is more to my situation than what I wrote in my post. And I really need to see a lawyer regarding my situation, hopefully if there is anybody to consult more before the visa is granted, I’m so confused don’t know what to believe anymore, My e-mail address is;;;;

  46. Babatunde Adewunmi Says:

    Good morning.

    Kindly send your contact details. I need to get in touch with you for your services.

    Thank you.

  47. tonjo Says:

    Hi, thanks for your enlightenment.
    I’ll like to know if statutory marriage alone (without customary component) is enough in nigeria, and confers on the concerned couple the right to cohabit and have sexual relations.

  48. MOSES IRHOZA Says:

    Hi, I am tired of my wife consistent nagging and raining all source of insults on me. I have made several attempt to try to stop her, but she never changed. We have been married for over 6years, with no issue and moreover she is old than me by over 10years but lied to me at the beginning, Now I am tired of continuing this sort of relationship and would like to move on with my life. We actually did a church and a traditional wedding. Please advise.

  49. Nada Says:

    Hello, I have been reading all the comments here and you seem to be the answer to my questions. I am single but in a relationship wt a man called Michael. Michael got married some years ago through traditional marriage to a lady who eventually had a son for him.

    When the son was 3 months old, the Lady took the boy to her parents under the guise of visitation and hasn’t returned for over two years now. Her whereabouts cannot be found. Michael is desirous of ending the marriage so that we can get married. He has requested for the return of the bride price but his inlaws have refused to do so. I hv advised him to file for a divorce at the customary court. But we are confused as to which customary court to file.

    So my questions are: is it okay to file at Customary Court? Which jurisdiction is applicable – lagos? Or where the trad marriage was performed? Can it be filed in any customary court in any state of the federation? And how can processes be served when the whereabouts of the lady is not known? Thank you.

    • mz_agams Says:

      You can file in any customary court in the country except a Sharia court. You can serve her family if you do not know where where she is. If she does not appear the divorce can be given in her absence

  50. Scott Says:

    I have go through so many questions here and it seems you have an accurate answer to most of the questions, I got married to my wife 9 years ago and few years back i notice some changes in her and called her to attention but she always come up with so many excuses. I saw her chatting dirty with my friend and wanted to go on a date with someone which was halted by me. I have tried so many times without number to bring us together but all to no avail. Her family is the reason why i have stayed this much in the marriage because they are simply the best inlaw a man could ever want. They are aged parent which i never wanted to discuss this issue with because of their states of health. I really want a divorce but need a good lawyer to talk to in ogun state and abeokuta to be precisely. She starved me of sex and deny me so many time. sometimes i had to endure more than 3 weeks until i pleaded with her like a child who want his or her breakfast so desperately. Even at that she would still wear this frown face and she would close her eyes like i was trying to rape her. The saddest part of this story is that everybody around us believe we are the best couple and someone of them even praised us. Its really disheartening. I have tried to talk to her times without number bringing this divorce issue and she make me look like a devil and shed a crocodile tears whenever i bring this tete-a-tete conversation regarding the divorce. I just want a smooth one that wouldn’t affect the kids much. I hardly sleep this days.

What Do You Think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 457 other followers

%d bloggers like this: