Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Nigeria: Law Favors Father in Custody Cases

From The Conversation CA:

In a divorce, one of the critical decisions is child custody. It matters who a child lives with. And a study of 17 sub-Saharan African countries showed that living with a father alone is detrimental to children’s nutritional status. This may be due to inability to effectively manage work-family conflict.

In many Nigerian patriarchal cultures, women bear and raise children but the children ‘belong’ to the man. This is hinged on the overarching principle of customary law that denies a mother’s lineage and strongly upholds patrilineage. If the couple divorce, the mother leaves the children for the ‘owner’ – the father. These religious and cultural traditions influence the awarding of child custody in sharia and customary courts.

Sole custody was granted to the man in six cases. Joint custody was granted in five cases. In four of those five, the custody of the child awarded to the woman was temporary because the child was underage or the man had no income. Sole custody to the woman was granted in only one of the 12 cases.

Read more here.

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/family_law/2021/02/nigeria-law-favors-father-in-custody-cases.html

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