A fast take a look at alimony beneath Nigerian regulation – household and marriage

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The Black’s Law Dictionary defines “alimony” as an allowance paid by a spouse to another spouse by court order for the maintenance of the other spouse while they are separated, during divorce proceedings, or after their divorce. The Marriage Causes Act, LFN 1990 (the Act), which is the main legislation governing matrimonial matters, provides for alimony in Nigeria.

The law does not mention the word “alimony” but uses the word “alimony” to describe the payment of an allowance to a spouse during or after a divorce. The terms are sometimes used interchangeably by Nigerian courts, suggesting that they refer to the same thing.

Alimony is one of the additional facilities available to a party seeking marriage dissolution or other marital facilities in Nigeria. Under Section 69 of the Marriage Cause Act, a maintenance order may be issued in respect of parties to valid marriages or void marriages, but does not include marriages entered into under Muslim rites or other customary laws. Part IV of the Marriage Causation Act generally provides for the ordering of maintenance, custody and settlement orders in favor of a husband, wife, children or adopted children in the event of divorce.

From the wording of Section 70 of the Marriage Causation Act, it can be deduced that any spouse can be given a maintenance order suggesting that it could be issued in favor of a male spouse, i.e. both parties would have been given the same right to maintenance Podium placed. The case of Nakanda v. Nakanda is instructive in this position, in which case the appellate court denied the lower court’s decision, ruling that under the Marriage Causation Act, the position of the husband and wife is equal and each party is entitled to maintenance from the failure, provided the terms in Section 70 of the Law must be taken into account and the old common law idea that the husband must support the wife goes against the idea of ​​the law on marital causes.

Granting a degree to a spouse does not release such a spouse from maintenance. The mere fact that a court rules in favor of the husband does not mean that the court cannot order him to pay alimony to his wife.

The High Court is empowered under Section 70 of the Marriage Causation Act to make various orders relating to the maintenance of spouses. According to the provisions of Section 70, Paragraph 1, No. 2 of the Marriage Cause Act, the Court of Justice must take into account when granting maintenance what is just and just under the circumstances of the individual case, taking into account the means and the ability to work, the conduct of the parties to the marriage and any other relevant circumstance. These factors are briefly discussed below.

Means of the parties – This includes, but is not limited to, capital assets, cash, shares in a company, equity investments, contingent and potential assets of the parties, etc.

Gain capacity – includes the potential employability of the parties.

Behavior of the parties – The court only takes into account the gross and obvious behavior of the parties, e.g. B. causing grievous bodily harm to a spouse, firing a gun at the spouse, committing adultery in the home, etc. Party behavior can result in one party getting more or less than it is normally entitled to.

Other relevant considerations – This is at the discretion of the court to take into account the particular facts and circumstances of the individual case. For example in
English translation: The court examined the length of the years the parties spent together as a couple.

According to the provisions of the law, maintenance is essentially divided into two types. This includes maintenance procedures for marital relief (maintenance pendente lite) and maintenance after the procedure has been concluded (maintenance per se).

According to Section 73 of the Marriage Cause Act, the court can order weekly, monthly, annual or even lump-sum maintenance payments. In addition, the court is empowered to review maintenance orders. The parties can also decide to enter into a maintenance agreement. However, this cannot remove the jurisdiction of the court to review the same.

In summary, it should be noted that maintenance is not a penal order or an order aimed at dividing a spouse’s property, but rather one that is granted to maintain the standard of leaving a spouse to the extent practicable and, as such, maintenance normally does not occur granted when the spouse applying for this relief has sufficient funds and income to support themselves, therefore the applicant’s ability to work is an important determinant.

The content of this article is intended to provide general guidance on the subject. You should seek advice from a professional about your particular circumstances.

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