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Got married secretly at 19 to a Nigerian man

By admin
08 September 2013

I am a woman of 22 who got married secretly at 19 to a Nigerian man. We’ve been married for three years and have a child, but he failed to maintain his child during our marriage. I want to divorce him, but I don’t know how. I’ve found out that his belongings are in his brother’s name, as is his bank account.

I cannot afford a lawyer and I don’t know my rights in this matter. I want this to be resolved peacefully. We separated a year ago. Please help me sort this out in a clear-cut way.

ANONYMOUS, GAUTENG     Move! Expert advice

Raphahle Licion Mashilo, a social worker at the Department of Social Development, says: “Divorce is emotionally draining and can take a long time to be finalised. You can approach the nearest Legal Aid Board for help as you will need an attorney. Their services are free, but certain requirements, like proof of unemployment, must be submitted. The attorney will then take you through the process. “Regarding your husband’s assets being under his brother’s name, the court will need proof that they belong to the husband.

If you can prove this, you will be entitled to half his assets, depending on the marriage contract. “The maintenance issue is long overdue. You can lodge a maintenance claim as part of the divorce settlement, or go to the maintenance court and lodge a claim. It seems as if this man had ulterior motives for marrying you.”