International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Ending Divorce without Bitterness: Making a Case for Only No-Fault Divorce under the Nigerian Matrimonial Law.
Osifunke Ekundayo

Marriage creates a legal status from which legally enforceable rights and duties arise. On the other hand, divorce terminates that legal status, thereafter, neither party has the legal rights nor owes legal duties attached to marriage. This paper discusses the arguments for and against fault and no-fault divorces which is an area of family law that is always subject of intense debate and emotional responses. The paper points to the fact that fault-based divorce system makes parting couples to apportion blame, often resulting in increased animosity and making it harder for ex-partners to develop positive relationships as co-parents. On the other hand, no-fault makes divorce less traumatic. The paper examines the current law and practice. It highlights the benefits of reform of the law and the removal of fault so that divorce is based solely on non-fault. The paper concludes in favor of removal of faults in divorce leaving only the non-fault concept, with the mindset that when divorce cannot be avoided, the law must not create conflict between the warring parties that so often harms the children involved. The paper is aimed at enabling divorcing couples not to be put through legal requirements which do not serve their interest and accordingly have poor outcomes on their children.

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