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Counsel Corner: Abandoned by husband of fifteen years

Dear lawyer,

I was just going through Vanguard daily and saw your column which I cherish. I work in a teaching hospital in one of the south-east states. I got married in 1997 without any issue. My husband maltreated me to the extent that I saw a ticket which he bought for his girlfriend and himself to travel.

Because of that, he sent me out of our matrimonial room, told me to be feeding myself and finally drove me out of the house in March this year. This is a man I met as a mere apprentice in 1989 and I used to pay his rent then. My question is this, what is your legal advice on this case? Thanks for your concern and God bless.


It is quite unfortunate that you are experiencing this kind of situation after fifteen years of marriage. One may not be able to say precisely why your husband is treating you the way he is doing. But it may not be unconnected with the fact that the marriage has not been blessed with children, however,  I’m of the view that only your husband can say why he is behaving that way towards you because there is always the other side to every story.

Nevertheless, I will not dwell so much on the issue of why the relationship that I guess started very well has suddenly gone awry. I will rather address the legal issues involved. The actions of your husband somewhat suggest that he may no longer be interested in the marriage for reasons best known to him.

But since he has not openly said so, one may only assume. I don’t know the nature of the marriage between the two of you. Was it contracted under native law and customs or was it contracted at a marriage registry? If it was contracted under the former, either of the parties can approach customary court in your jurisdiction and file a complaint.

However, if the marriage was contracted in a registry then it is a statutory marriage guided by the provisions of Matrimonial Causes Act MCA. In this case, you need the services of a lawyer to properly advice you on what to do.

Who foots the bill?

If the sewage system in a premises is filled up who should be responsible for its evacuation.? My landlord said the tenants should foot the bill but we are insisting that he should be the one to do so.


The question of who foots the bill depends on the clauses in the agreement between you and your landlord .It is what the particular clauses say on the issue or a related one that determines who foots the bill. So you need to refer to the agreement. If however the agreement is silent on this, who bears the responsibility has to be mutually agreed.


Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.