Reading Time: 2 minutes

How can I say this to sink in right away?

“I’m not doing again, I want to sign the divorce papers.”

“Tell him to bring the divorce papers, let me sign, let’s end this marriage.”

“We have signed the divorce papers. It’s over.”

“The marriage is over. We signed the divorce papers.”

Calm down. I say what? Calm down:

1. Forget all those crap Nollywood feeds you. There is nothing like signing of divorce papers to end a marriage in Nigeria.

2. You don’t sign any papers to end a marriage in the sense of signing an agreement to end a marriage.

3. In fact, it is even illegal to “agree” to end your marriage. It’s called “connivance” and it is not acceptable in our laws.

4. If you want a divorce, first, talk to a lawyer. The lawyer will prepare court processes/ documents known as a “Petition” and file in court. Your partner will be served the petition and he will also get a lawyer to file court processes/documents known as an “Answer”, in reply to your petition.

5. The court will look at all the court processes filed by both parties and grant a divorce if all the facts are proven.

6. Yes, you heard me right. There are certain facts provided by law that must exist in your marriage and must be proven in court before the court will grant a divorce. The court will not just grant a divorce because you ask for one.

7. If you fail to state any of the facts the law requires you to state, or if you state them and fails to prove them, the court will refuse to grant you a divorce.

8. So, a divorce is not gotten when your partner brings some papers or documents like an agreement for you to sign; and once you sign, voom, you are divorced.

9. I hope I helped someone get divorced from this Nollywood fertilized ignorance.

10. Any questions?



– Written by Firsts Baba Isa (FBI), a Legal Practitioner, based in Abuja.