Legal Grounds For Divorce in Nigeria (2024)

The grounds for divorce in Nigeria are legal reasons that the law permits for the dissolution of a lawful marriage by one or both parties (couples).

divorce broken marriage in Nigeria

This is because there are periods when a couple feel they can no longer tolerate, live together as husband and wife under the same roof and would like to part ways by legal consent i.e through divorce.

For customary marriage, your grounds for filing a divorce petition must have valid evidence as stipulated by the law to get a divorce in Nigeria.

Filing for a petition of divorce is the first step as both parties may be presumed to have exhausted all re-conciliatory means before court proceedings.

If you have ever thought or asked questions like – What are the legal grounds for getting a divorce in Nigeria? How to divorce in Nigeria? Then you are on the right page as we shall list out the legal grounds for divorce in the country based on the family law in Nigeria.

Grounds For Divorce in Nigeria

The following are the different grounds under which divorce can be filed:

  1. No consummation of the marriage. There hasn’t been any sexual intercourse between the couple.
  2. Either of the couple engaged in adulterous act.
  3. Evidence of an unreasonable behavior/conduct such as bestiality, rape, habitual drunk, murderer, sodomy, attempted murder of spouse, beating and inability to take care of spouse.
  4. If the either party abandons the other for at least a year prior to filing the divorce petition.
  5. Separation between the couple by mutual consent.
  6. When either of the couple fail to comply with a court order on the marriage.
  7. Either party of the married couple has been presumed dead especially in cases of disappearance.

Those are the legal grounds for divorce in Nigeria.


Marriage isn’t child’s play as most singles think. In fact, most married couples would love to be single while most singles would love to be married. There are certain criteria one must reach in life before he or she takes a bold step in entering marriage.

Seeking advice from experienced couples is a good thing before diving into it. Virtues like understanding, tolerance, patience, etc are just a few traits one must posses as those who rushed into marriage end up as divorced couples. Most celebrities in the country are now suffering from such.

Aside the above listed grounds, there isn’t any other in the eyes of the law before a competent court or judge annuls or pronounces a husband and a wife separated. Think of the psychological effect it would have on both parties and worst of all, the children if there are any.

The Nigerian law is even mild when it comes to divorce cases as opposed to western law whereby the husband would give out a great percentage of his property as the court deems fit.

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Oluchi Chukwu

Oluchi is a seasoned Information blogger, content developer and the editor of Nigerian Queries. She is a tech enthusiast who loves reading, writing and research

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