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Legal Grounds For Divorce in Nigeria

In Nigeria, the legal grounds for divorce are directed by the Matrimonial Causes Act, which provides a legal framework for couples seeking to end their marriages. The Act recognizes several grounds before a divorce can be granted, from traditional reasons to unreasonable behavior. 
Legal grounds for divorce in Nigeria

If you have been wondering what are the legal grounds for getting a divorce in Nigeria? OR how to divorce in Nigeria? Then you are on the right blog, in this article, we will list the legal grounds for divorce in Nigeria.

Read also: How To File A Divorce In Nigeria 

Grounds For Divorce in Nigeria

There are several legal grounds for divorce, which are recognized under the Matrimonial Causes Act. These grounds include: 

  • Your spouse has been absent for a long period of years enough to be legally presumed dead or missing can file for divorce.
  • If the couple has been living apart for at least three years without the consent of one spouse, the other can file for divorce.
  • Your spouse has refused to comply with a decree or restitution of conjugal rights made by a court for not less than one year. Can be valid for divorce.
  • If one spouse commits adultery, and you find it difficult to live with him/her, the petitioner must prove that not only does the other party commit adultery but he/she finds it unbearable to live with such infidelity.
  • Your spouse has behaved in such a way that you can’t live with him/her like acts of violence, drunkenness, refusal to pay maintenance, rape e.t.c can be valid for divorce.
  • If one spouse has abandoned the other for at least one year without their consent or a reasonable reason, it can be a valid ground for divorce.
  • If one spouse fails to provide for the basic needs of the other spouse, it can be a ground for divorce.
  • That the respondent has refused to consummate the marriage. the petitioner must prove that there has been no sexual intercourse between him and the petitioner.

These are the legal grounds for divorce In Nigeria.


What are the legal reasons for divorce in Nigeria?

Under Nigerian law, there is only one ground for divorce, which is that the marriage has broken down permanently. 

On what grounds can a marriage be dissolved?

Section 15 of the Matrimonial Causes Act (MCA) provides the grounds for the dissolution of marriage.

Can I divorce without going to court in Nigeria?

You cannot get divorced except through the court.


The legal grounds for divorce in Nigeria embody the nation’s rich and diverse cultural, social, and legal landscape. Under the Matrimonial Causes Act, individuals seeking to end their marriages because of several issues going on in their marriage life, 

The legal system must adapt to accommodate these changes while upholding the principles of fairness and justice. It is essential for individuals who want to divorce in Nigeria to seek legal counsel to know the requirements and procedures involved.

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Faith Oluwa

Faith is a content and creative writer with a passion for storytelling and a natural flair for compelling content who is bursting with talent and ready to make her mark in the world of writing. She has all the skills necessary to succeed in this competitive field.View Author posts