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Is Prenuptial Agreement Valid in Nigeria

[16] The MCA refers to agreements between the parties before or after marriage. In some sections, we talk about prenuptial or postnuptial settlement. See Sections 16(1)(f), 19, 72(2) and 73(1)(k) of the MCU. A prenuptial contract is often called a prenup. It is an agreement between two people (although they are still cooperative) that defines their rights and obligations in marriage or in the unlikely event of a divorce. Of course, cultural beliefs, especially in a country like Nigeria, will influence people`s opinion on this type of agreement. However, a prenup should not be considered a contract concluded because the parties are considering or expecting a divorce. A prenup will examine the vagueness of Nigerian land law in the event of separation or divorce. According to the law, the court is responsible for taking into account any pre- or post-marriage agreement reached by the parties when paying for property. On the other hand, a prenup can be used to subject property management issues to the laws of countries with a more favorable legal framework.

Divorce has become a feature of our society; the foundations of the unpopular nature of prenups in Nigeria no longer exist. There are many reasons why you should consider a prenuptial agreement before marriage, or at least have a clear discussion about matters relating to property and finances. The MCA recognizes the right of the parties to perform prenuptial and post-marriage contracts (a post-marriage contract is entered into after the marriage and, in most cases, during divorce proceedings) in Article 72(2). Although the court has the discretion to execute the matrimonial contract before or after marriage with respect to the allocation of property in the event of divorce, experience has shown that it voluntarily applies postnuptial agreements unless circumstances can be proven that make the contract unenforceable. A prenup will address the lack of clarity in Nigeria`s law on the regulation of property in the event of separation or divorce. According to the law, the court is required to take into account any agreement before or after the marriage concluded by the parties when settling property. On the other hand, a prenup can be used to subject property issues to the laws of countries with a more favorable legal framework. The end result of this provision, in our view, is that a marriage contract would be one of the things the judge would consider when issuing a settlement order, and if the court finds the agreement to be fair and equitable, it will stand. Any group of people can choose to hire their lawyer to create a prenup. The reasons for this could range from those envisaged by Ahmed and Jumoke to the decentralization of property among children, the separation of prenuptial debt, etc. Like any other contract, it is essential to get solid legal advice. Since prenups are not intended to be used by either party as a coercive instrument or mechanism, courts have always had the final say on contractual terms that are binding when challenged.

For example, “agreements” entered into under the coercion of a party will not stand up to judicial review if objections or violations follow. Taking Ahmed and Jumoke as an example, the bride and groom may have an agreement on the religious indoctrination to be given to the children, or the preference of both parties when it comes to considering distant relationships. However, these types of problems are not easy to assess as part of a challenge and therefore may not be suitable for solving them in a prenup. There is no doubt that prenups, if not properly understood and used, can create mistrust and make a spouse financially vulnerable or force a spouse to give up what he or she would otherwise have been entitled to. Cultural influences have shaped the status of marriages in Nigeria. Many Nigerian cultures still view marriage as a union between a woman or women and their benefactor. With globalization, however, there has been a clear, if gradual, paradigm shift in this view of marriage as a union between two or more unequal partners. The old stereotypes of the dominant husband and the submissive wife give way to a more modern vision of the conjugal union that values and protects the respective rights and duties of the parties. In this modernized context of marriage, marriage contracts can and are likely to thrive in Nigeria. The simple answer to this question is that under Nigerian law, yes, they are universal.

Similarly, the final decision on the settlement of property and property in the event of the dissolution of a marriage rests with the judge. And while a marriage contract is one of the mandatory documents that a court will consider when issuing a settlement order, it will only retain its contents if it is determined to comply with the law and what is “fair” in the circumstances. A prenup can protect your separate assets, support your estate planning, define which assets are considered matrimonial or otherwise, clarify special agreements between the parties, and establish procedures and ground rules for deciding future financial matters. Despite the best intentions, as with any contract, prenups are nuanced in the application. For example, if a party to a marriage with an existing prenuptial contract is found guilty of murdering the other party, that spouse will benefit from the terms of the prenuptial contract if they enter into a prenuptial agreement, often referred to as a “prenupial contract.” It is an agreement between two people (although they are still cooperative) that sets out their rights and obligations in marriage or in the unlikely event of a divorce. Of course, cultural beliefs, especially in a country like Nigeria, will influence people`s opinion on agreements of this type. However, a prenup should not be considered a contract because the parties are considering or expecting a divorce. It must be admitted that love is a nebulous concept and can be ephemeral.

The reality is that the emotional basis for entering into a marriage can decrease at all. Most importantly, so-called love may have been influenced by material considerations. In such circumstances, a prenuptial agreement may be the best way to ensure that “love” is not for the wrong reasons. Today, unlike in the days of our fathers, people have a second legal marriage and subsequent legal marriages. In such circumstances, a prenup protects the inheritance rights of children from previous marriages. Parents can also use prenups to protect their children`s property by making sure they sign the agreement before marriage. No parent wants their life`s work to go to someone who cheated on their child with romantic conversations. In radmacher v Granatino [2010] UKSC 42, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom upheld a prenup that covered a woman`s assets of €106 million. GBP protected. When we talk about the legality of prenups in Nigeria, a prejugation contract is valid like any other formal contract, given our existing laws. This means that a prenup is legal in Nigeria once both parties have agreed to be associated with them and there has been no form of coercion, misrepresentation or fraud.

The marriage contract cannot and cannot circumvent or replace the jurisdiction of the court. In Nigeria, the parties are free to enter into contracts, but we are guided by existing laws and jurisprudence on issues that can arise during marriages. The Court interprets a prenup taking into account the general interests of the child, in particular when ordering physical and/or legal custody of the child. Thus, although the parties may have agreed that in the event of divorce, custody belongs to one party, it is for the court to determine who has custody of the custody, taking into account the facts and circumstances that prevail and affect the best interests of the child. Husband and wife may be entitled to equal custody as long as they can prove that they will take good care of the child. The issue of child custody was referred to the Court in the case of Ms. Helen Nwosu v. Hon. Dr. Chima Nwosu (2011) LPELR-4654 (CA), where the Court upheld the Supreme Court`s position that both parents (generally) have equal rights and interests in the children of the marriage. A prenup, also known as a prenuptial contract, is a contract between a future husband and wife that establishes the conditions of ownership of property acquired before and after marriage and determines how income is treated during the duration of the marriage and the settlement of property in the event of separation or divorce. The agreement would generally cover the consensus of the parties on issues such as debt, entitlement to pension plans and accounts, separate and shared property, cost of living, gifts, separation and divorce, rights of the parties to property in the event of death, family allowances, etc.

Marriages are usually introduced by the richest spouse to protect their property at the expense of the poorest partner, who gives marriage considerable value that cannot be quantified. .

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Posted: 03/05/2022

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