Marriage is such a beautiful thing and most people aspire to get married to enjoy all the blessings and benefits that comes with it. On the other hand, when the two people get married for all the wrong reasons, the beauty in marriage becomes a daily episode of a horror show. Oh well, I’m not a marriage expert. I am not about to tell you how to make a beautiful marriage.(No! No!). I am about to tell you from fact and experience as an Attorney (tips my cap😁) mistakes you should avoid making in marriage and before marriage from an Attorney’s perspective.
Dear married couples, there is no such legal personality known as “Mr and Mrs Lagbaja”. You can only have “Mr Shima Lagbaja” or “Mrs Seun Lagbaja”. You might just be creating a legal problem for yourselves when you use “Mr and Mrs Lagbaja” to buy those goods or properties. Uncle and Aunty, if you are buying a joint property or goods endeavour to write your full names to avoid stories that touch. Please be very particular to the cashier to write Shima Lagbaja and Seun Lagbaja on that receipt. At the early stage of marriage when the stars and butterflies are clouding your judgment, please remember these few words on buying properties and goods as husband and wife.
Dear married couples (especially those who are married under the Act), all things been equal, it is adviced 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). This is very important because there is a high tendency for the couple to forget to make this change. When life happens to either one, the other is left with a major challenge on who is entitled to the benefits that accrue. These often ends up in court and while it takes a long time to resolve the issue, relationships are strained. Please help eachother to avoid such occurrences.
Dear intending couples, there are only two types of marriages recognised in Nigeria; it is either Marriage under the Act (Matrimonial Causes Act and Marriage Act), or 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. By the way, with churches popping up in nooks and crannies everyday, I can assure you that most of them are not licensed places of worship. (Have you heard what is happening to churches in Rwanda lately?)
If your church is a licensed place of worship, wedding in church and also going to the marriage regisrty are one and the same thing (Marriage Under the Act). Meaning a waste of resources and duplicity of purpose.
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 pretence. (I bet you didn’t know this, you’re welcome, oh no, don’t mention🤣). So, instead of weeping😭, whining and drinking away your heartache or whatever you do to get over a disappointment, why don’t you ring up your lawyer and exercise your right.