Hallblack Law Firm

Section 30 of the Matrimonial Causes Act provides as a general rule that proceedings for a decree of dissolution of marriage shall not be instituted within two years after the date of the marriage except by leave of the court.

In an application for leave under this section, the applicant must show the court that

(a) To refuse to grant leave would impose exceptional hardship on the applicant.
(b) The case is one involving exceptional depravity on the part of the other party to the marriage.
The court in considering the application will have regard to the interest of any children of the marriage and to the question whether there is any reasonable probability of reconciliation between the parties before the expiration of the period of two years after the date of the marriage.

However, a petitioner can still bring a proceeding for a degree of dissolution of marriage in less than two years of marriages without leave of court under some circumstances.
Section 30(2) of the Matrimonial Causes Act provides that nothing in this section shall apply to the institution of proceedings based on any of the matters specified in section 15(2)(a) or (b) or 16(1)(a) of the act.

This section provides for the exception to the general rule that Matrimonial Causes cannot be brought within two years of marriage .So when the grounds for dissolution borders on the fact below ,a petitioner will not be required to seek leave of court .

  1. When the respondent has wilfully and persistently refused to consummate the Marriage.
  2. That since the marriage, the respondent has committed adultery and the petitioner finds it intolerable to live with the respondent.
  3. Since the marriage, the respondent has committed rape, sodomy or bestiality.
  4. When the institution of the proceedings for a decree of dissolution of marriage is by way of a cross Petition.
    With the information above, we are reminded that it is not all the time a client tells us that his/her marriage is less than two years that we apply for leave of court. Anthony Atata

65 thoughts on “FAMILY LAW: The Two year rule in Matrimonial Proceedings : Refreshing your memory on the exceptions-ANTHONY ATATA

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