There are legal issues you must keep in mind when you are married.
They might sound funny ,but they are real and they were distilled from real life cases in Court and cases in the Police Station.
Some of the issues are quite controversial and complex .
They are as follows:
1.As a Woman, insist that your husband marry you in the Marriage Registry. It protects you in many ways .A Marriage conducted in a Marriage Registry is a monogamous Marriage, that is to say ,the man or woman can not marry another wife ,except there has been a Divorce at the High Court .
The Fact that you wore wedding gown and Suit in Church for your Wedding and you signed a “Marriage Certificate ‘ does not really mean you are Married under Act (Registry ).It could just be a celebration which is just a Christian Rite.For your Marriage in Church to amount to Registry Marriage, your Church must be licensed by the Marriage Registry to conduct Marriages and your Certificate of Marriage must be Registered at the Marriage Registry,that is to say you must take it to the Registry after the marriage for it to be registered by the Registrar of Marriage,within your jurisdiction. Many people who think they are married under the Act ,only just did Traditional Marriage as what they call “White Wedding ” or “Church Wedding ” is not recognized by Law as it is just a mere celebration of Marriage. It is just like doing Thanksgiving in Church and nothing more !In the eyes of the Law, they did only Traditional Marriage.
A Traditional Marriage is a Polygamous Marriage and the Man can marry Multiple wives .Any other Marriage contracted after a Marriage in the Marriage Registry is a nullity and it is a criminal offence called bigamy ,which can land the new couple in jail.
2.When acquiring property, while married , ensure your records are straight. Do not assume he or she will not deny anything as to who is the owner of the Property .You will be shocked!If you are the one acquiring the Property with your money ,put your name !Be careful how you use Mr. and Mrs. to acquire property
At the end, you may end up losing half of your property ,through wanting to be a good wife or a good husband.
If you are a wife and you are buying a Property, be careful how you buy it in just your husband’s name .I have seen cases where such happened and the man sent the woman away from her own house she bought in his name ,brought in another woman and the owner of the house became destitute.
Documents do not lie.Any other thing you are saying outside documentary evidence is super story .Sentiments and Law do not Meet.Protect yourself legally .
3.Keep your Marriage Certificate Close to your chest ,it is a very important document that will be useful during your marriage or when for any reason you want to terminate same . There is no law that says it is the woman that keeps the Marriage Certificate. In any case ,have a photocopy of it , as you should of every document that concerns you .You might need it any time and hmmn,you will be surprised you may not be able to lay a hand on a copy .I say no more !
4.Keep your records as a Man .Ensure you have records of your expenditure profile in taking care of your home .In this regard, it is better to do Transfers to your wife or husband than to do cash.I can not say much but you will be shocked how such records will help you .Spousal Transactions are better done by Transfers !Many Spouses lie when the Relationship gets sour and you may not know who to believe.It is the records that always resolve such ambiguity .”Wetin Dem talk when Dem dey go farm ,no be im Dem dey talk when Dem dey come back “.
5.If your husband had money ,pet him well to set you up with a business while the relationship is rosy .Take advantage of the moment .If things ever went sour (God Forbid),you will be shocked you may be left with nothing .There is no Alimony in Nigeria ,so collect your “Alimony “,during the pendency of the Marriage. It is just a precaution, just in case .Your Marriage can stay forever .In any case ,it is good to benefit from your spouse one way or the order .If you are driving a car and the car is in the name of your husband, do not be deceived ,because the car is not yours .You will understand what I mean ,If the push ever comes to the shove .If he really wants to give you the car ,let him do a Change of Ownership to your name !
6.Do not accuse your wife or husband of infidelity, except you have cogent and compelling evidence he or she cannot deny .It is difficult to prove it and most times it is circumstantial evidence that you will have ,but do not be quick to make allegations that can not be founded in evidence .You can however discuss your concerns about the Matter ,with out making any allegations .
These are issues that came out of real life cases .They are not guess works !
Only the Wise Heeds !
Wish you well in your Marriages.
This Article is for Public Enlightenment ,only .
About the Author:
Douglas Ogbankwa Esq.,@firstname.lastname@example.org is a Benin Based Legal Practitioner and the the immediate Past Publicity Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association(NBA), Benin Branch-the Lion Bar .
(C) This piece is copyrighted. 10th July,2020.