‘Dear Married Couples’ – Useful Tips from Lawyers

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Dear married couples, these tips offered by Esene Lawlord Kingsley and Ubonabasi Peters  seasoned legal practitioners may be all you need to prevent you and yours from facing unnecessary legal tussle.

  1. Dear married couples, there is no such legal personality known as “Mr and Mrs Okoro”. You can only have “Mr Kenneth Okoro” or “Mrs Patricia Okoro”. You might just be creating a legal problem for yourselves when you use “Mr and Mrs Okoro” to buy those goods or properties. If you are really interested in buying a property as a couple then your names should appear in the agreement as Mr. Sunday Essien and Mrs. Maria Sunday Essien instead of Mr and Mrs Sunday Essien.
  1. Dear married couples (especially those who are married under the Act), all things been equal, it is advised that you change your next of kin to your spouse after wedding from your sibling or anybody else you used before wedding. Making your spouse your next of kin makes it easier for them to process any accrued benefit especially if either of you die intestate (without leaving a will).
  1. Dear intending couples, there are only two types of marriages recognized in Nigeria; 1.Marriage under the Act (Matrimonial Causes Act and Marriage Act), 2. Marriage not under the Act (Marriage under Islamic Law and Marriage Under Customary Law). The first is monogamous in nature while the latter is restricted polygamous and unrestricted polygamous in nature. For intending couples of the Christian faith, there is no such thing as “church wedding”. If your church is a “licensed place of worship”, what they conduct there is a “Marriage under the Act”. If your church is not a licensed place of worship and you only conducted customary marriage without going to the marriage registry, what they would have done in your church may just be a celebration and the blessing of your customary marriage.
    If your church is a licensed place of worship, wedding in church and also going to the marriage registry are one and the same thing (Marriage Under the Act). Meaning a waste of resources and duplicity of purpose.
  1. Dear Boyfriend and Girlfriend, promising your partner that you would marry them when you know you have no intention of doing so may give rise to a civil action of breach of promise to marry resulting in damages (compensation) and the restitution of all monies spent and gift given. It may also give rise to a criminal action of obtaining by false pretense.

© Esene Lawlord Kingsley and Ubonabasi Peters

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