The Marriage act under the Nigerian law defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others1. In other words, marriage is predicated on the mutual consent of a man and a woman to live together as husband and wide. Ordinarily, an ideal marriage will remain united, undivided, and unbroken.
Marriage is universally accepted to be an institution governed by the social and religious norms of the society. It is a union between a man and a woman2. It is apt to state that marriage as an institution has been in existence from time immemorial. It can be traced back to the creation of man and is considered to have spiritual, moral and social significance in the society. It is therefore revered as sacred and thus heavily guarded by various religions, traditions, social norms and laws alike3.
The increasing rate of divorce all over the world has called into question the continued validity of the above definition of marriage as a union for life. Also, the issue of same-sex marriage has been a front-burner in national discuss in different jurisdictions around the globe with the United States’ Supreme Court recently validating a same-sex marriage in the case of Obergefell v Hodges. In Nigeria, the sanctity of marriage cuts across all regions of the country regardless of culture and religion.
The consequential hardship and challenges existing in many marriages today violently push the edges of the enclosing envelope of survival of most marriages, leading to greater number of cases of separations or outright divorced4.
According to Ifemeje5, “A good divorce law was seen as one that is able to provide a way out of a dead relationship, and to enable the parties to enter into a new legal relationship, if they so desire.”
Divorce has its unpleasant impact, not only on the couple and their children but also on the society as a whole. Children of divorced marriage are usually the black sheep in a family set up and in the society as a whole. If, we should consider the resources the government expends in curtailing social problems in the society, then one should endeavour to proffer solution on one of the problems that actually precipitates social problems in our society6.
However, divorce has its great implication; it causes great emotional stress to the couples, their children and relations. It also has its great socio and economic problems to the nation. Most of these children develop psychological problems or even health problem. Such children may eventually become criminals due to lack of parental care as a result of the broken home syndrome.