Yes, under the Nigerian Law, a spouse can claim damages when a spouse commits adultery.
There are about 51 things every Nigerian woman should know about the law on marriage and divorce. Here, we will address the specific question about whether one can claim damages when a spouse commits adultery.
The matrimonial causes Act, one of the Laws regulating marriage in Nigeria provides that (we shall simplify) a party to a marriage whether husband or wife in a divorce proceedings where it has been alleged that the other spouse has committed adultery, can claim damages from that person your spouse cheated with. So you can claim damages from a side chick.
The following points are important
- You will be able to claim damages when you are filing for divorce.
- You must have alleged adultery as the reason for the divorce or part of the reason for it.
Note also that in such a situation, the law requires you to make that third person a party to the proceedings in court So that when you successfully prove adultery, the order for damages will bind her.
If the court is satisfied that adultery has been proven, the court may direct in what manner the damages awarded shall be paid or applied. It may direct that they shall be settled for the benefit the children of the marriage.
Note also that:
- If the act of adultery took place more than three years before filing the petition/case in court, the court will not grant it.
- If the party claiming that the other party has committed adultery condoned the act at any point, the claim for damages will not stand.
This write up was culled from 51 things every Nigerian woman should know about the law on marriage and divorce. Everywoman should have this handbook.
This is just a guide. Consult your family lawyer for more detailed advice