Legal Framework For Settling Marital Disputes Through Reconciliation in Nigeria

31 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2009

Date Written: November 10, 2009


This paper is an analytical review of the provisions made for the settlement of matrimonial causes by reconciliation under the three legally available marriages in Nigeria. i.e statutory, customary and Islamic marriages. This is informed by the importance of marriage and family in the society, as the natural and fundamental group unit of society. The conceptual clarification between reconciliation and conciliation is made. The central provision on reconciliation under the Nigerian MCA is critically analysed in order to determine its scope and objective. The limitation of the provision in its inapplication to customary and Islamic marriages makes it imperative to look at the role of customary and area courts in reconciliation process. Reconciliation in Islamic marriages forms the final point of discussion. It identifies that entrenched in the statutory framework is the sad fact that the reconciliatory process is only possible at the point of instituting a matrimonial cause, in which case the possibility of reconciliation has become unrealistic. It is suggested that the reconciliation provisions under the statute be isolated from the institution of a matrimonial cause, so as to make reconciliation serve its purpose. The traditional African society is naturally endued with peace keeping processess for marital stability. Reconciliation is therefore usually done extrajudicially for distressed marriages.

Keywords: reconciliation, marriage, statutory, customary, islamic, matrimonial causes

JEL Classification: MCA, MA

Suggested Citation

Adekile, Oluwakemi Mary, Legal Framework For Settling Marital Disputes Through Reconciliation in Nigeria (November 10, 2009). Available at SSRN: or

Oluwakemi Mary Adekile (Contact Author)

University of Lagos ( email )

Lagos, +234
08033024357 (Phone)

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