Who Takes Custody of Child Born Outside Wedlock in Nigeria?

The question of who owns a child born outside marriage in Nigeria is a reoccurring one.

Divorce in Nigeria

Oftentimes, who take custody of child born outside wedlock stir up serious disaggrements and confrontations.

It is not new that many people do have child outside marriage or wedlock.

One of the major issues usually encountered in this scenario is the custody of child born outside official marriage.

In this article, we will look at who owns the child born outside wedlock in Nigeria.

In specific, we seek to explain the position of Nigerian law on who has the legal custody of child born outside wedlock in Nigeria.

We would not leave out the position of customary law on the ownership of child born outside marriage in Nigeria.

To have an insight on who has the right to child born outside wedlock in Nigeria, read this article carefully and thoroughly.

Father Or Mother: Who Owns Child Born Outside Marriage in Nigeria?

The ownership of a child or children born outside wedlock in Nigeria can be argued from customary law and common law.

It is important to note that cultures and traditions still forms part of Nigeria’s customary laws.

Hence, who takes ownership of child born outside wedlock in Nigeria in most times is followed strictly from customary law view point.

However, it is within the right of anyone to approach the court to seek to take custody of a child born outside wedlock in Nigeria this includes both the father or mother.

Position of Customary Law on Custody of Child Born Outside Wedlock in Nigeria

Under Customary law, the custody and ownership of a child born outside wedlock goes to the father of the mother of the child.

This does not change even if the father of the child acknowledges that he is the legitimate father.

However, through marriage, the custody of a child born outside wedlock can change as they can be considered as child or children of marriage with the consent of the couples and culture cum tradition.

Under certain cultures, custody of child or children born outside wedlock changes and goes to the husband of their mother if she eventually gets married later.

Position of Law on Custody of Child Born Outside Marriage in Nigeria

According to common law in Nigeria, the custody of child born outside wedlock is with the mother of the child.

For a father to seek custody and possession of the child born outside marriage under common law in Nigeria, he must convince the court that the mother is unfit to look after or take custody of the child.

However, the interest of the child shall be paramount for the court when it comes to award of custody.

It is important to note that under matrimonial causes act, children born outside wedlock cannot be claimed through marriage especially without the consent of both partners.

The children would not be considered “children of marriage”.

In conclusion, when it comes to who owns or takes custody of child born outside wedlock, just as in child custody after divorce, the interest of the child shall be paramount.

The court, both customary courts and higher courts always deliver judgements that best protect the interests of the child.

So, custody of children born outside wedlock can be awarded to their mother or father depending on what the courts deemed best for the interests of the child or children as the case may be.

0 Shares

The Author

Emmanuel Igwenagu

Igwenagu Emmanuel is the founder of Nigerian Informer. He holds B.A, M.Sc in Mass Communication. He is a Communication researcher and 112 emergency help line dispatcher.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.