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Guidelines in Determining Settlement of Property in Matrimonial Causes

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MATRIMONIAL PROCEEDING(S): Position of the law as regards settlement of property under matrimonial causes

"Thus, the question that arises is whether the lower Court exercised its discretion judicially and judiciously when it awarded the property of the Appellant at No. 48, Sarki Yaki Road, Sabon Gari, Kano to the Respondent under the settlement of property principles.

Two of the most firmly established guidelines that Courts are enjoined to take into consideration in determining a question of settlement of property is whether or not the property in question or some other property was acquired by the parties or by one of the parties during the course of the marriage, and if so, what was the contribution of each party to the cost of acquisition.

These guidelines are implicit in the decisions in the cases of Rimmer Vs Rimmer (1952) 2 All ER 863, Coker Vs Coker (1964) LLR 188, Amadi Vs Nwosu (1992) 6 SCNJ 59, Egunjobi Vs Egunjobi (1974) 4 ECSLR 552, Aderounmu Vs Aderounmu (2003) 2 NWLR (Pt 803) 1, Mueller Vs Mueller (2006) 6 NWLR (Pt.977) 627, Oghoyone Vs Oghoyone (2010) LPELR-CA/L/26/2003.

It is correct that the contribution of a party does not necessarily have to be in the nature of a cash outlay for the purchase or development of the property. It can be by way of moral and/or financial contribution to the business of a husband by a wife where the property is purchased from the profits of the business - Sanders Vs Sanders (1967) 116 CLR 366, Watchel Vs Watchel (1973) All ELR 829, H Vs H (Financial Provisions: Marriage) (1975) 1 All ER 367, Kafi Vs. Kafi (1986) 3 NWLR (Pt.27) 175.

It is however essential that the properly should have been purchased in the course of the marriage or where the property was purchased before the marriage, that the payment for the property was completed after and in the course of the marriage, as in the case of a property purchased on mortgage."


Per ABIRU, J.C.A. in


(2016) LPELR-41268(CA)