How to Divorce in Ghana
Divorce is the last thing any couple thinks about, especially during the early stage of marriage, but when shove comes to push, you will need to say goodbye to each other.
It can be a simple or complicated procedure. Why do you need a divorce? On what grounds? What are you taking with you, and what are you leaving behind?
What to do First
When you decide to get a divorce, the first thing to do is to go to the circuit court or the high court and file for a divorce, stating your grounds for the divorce.
There are five grounds you can stand on to file for a divorce. As the petitioner, i.e., the one filing for the divorce, you will need to file a petition, asking the court to dissolve your marriage and summon your partner through the court bailiff.
The petition should include the reason for divorce, distribution of assets, debts, custody of children, child support, and alimony obligations.
Have a divorce attorney ready. They will help with your requests and the protection of your assets.
Before any of this, before you serve your partner divorce papers or even filing for one, you will need to base your argument on one of the grounds of divorce in Ghana. And provide proof and evidence that the marriage is completely broken beyond recognition.
Ground For Divorce in Ghana
Adultery – Section 2 (1) a of Act 367
Under the marital clause act, 1971(367), you can divorce your partner on the grounds of adultery. Adultery can mean voluntary sexual intercourse.
“The respondent has committed adultery and that by reason of the adultery, the petitioner finds it intolerable to live with the respondent.”
Unreasonable Behavior – Section 2(1) b of Act 367
“The respondent has behaved in a way that the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent.”
This must include severe issues of physical or emotional violence.
Desertion – Section 2(1) c of Act 367
“The respondent has deserted the petitioner for a continuous period of at least two years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition.”
The petitioner must convince the court that they and the respondent have been living separately to bring cohabitation (living together) to an end without their(petitioner) concern.
Two years of Separation With Consent – Section 2(1) d of Act 367
The petitioner must prove that they and the respondent have not lived as husband and wife for at least two years without their consent.
Not Having Lived as Man and Wife for five years – Section 2 (1) e of Act 367
For this fact, consent is not needed.
Under any of these five grounds, you can divorce your spouse, and again, you, the petitioner, must demonstrate that you have done everything possible. Still, your efforts have been unable to fix the broken marriage.
Back to the top, after filing a petition at a fee and serving your spouse, when they choose to ignore, within many days, the court will proceed at default, and it is likely to grant you whatever request you make.
But your spouse can and most of the time legally serve you back an answer. You are not to serve your partner’s divorce papers yourself, and neither are they supposed to serve you their response themselves.
The process may vary depending on the situation of the couple. If you and your spouse cannot come together to reach an agreement, the court may introduce a neutral third party to help, or you will need to go for trial.
The most important thing to a divorce is to prove that the marriage is broken completely. You should be able to convince the court.
After providing enough evidence, you can start by going to the circuit court near you and filing a petition at a fee. Serve your partner, and the process begins.
Be sure to gather proof of income and properly organize all your finances. The judge will make the final decision.
Who will take custody of the child, is there is any? How will you divide your assets? What about your alimony? And many more.Advantages and Disadvantages of a Divorce
When you divorce your spouse, you can end all abuse and emotional and psychological pain and enjoy your freedom. You probably get enough money when the process completes, and that’s about it.
There are a few shortcomings as well. If you have children, growing up with one parent all of a sudden may be hard for them, and it is even harder explaining the situation to them, especially if they are going.
In direct contrast to getting money from the divorce, you can also lose money and reduce your standard of living. And divorce can hurt you, especially if you have abandonment issues.
The decision is always yours; it’s essential to do anything that can protect you and your family.
There are many divorce lawyers in the country. You can ask a friend to introduce you to one. Below are a few. They are not special picks. They are just here, in case you did not find one.
Kobaka Chambers – 030 252 2219
Stobe Law – 030 273 2277
Kimathi and Partners – 024 796 0465
Enoch Associates – 030 254 7755
FBS Law Consult – 050 798 0400