The respondent to a petition for divorce in which the petitioner alleges five years’ separation may oppose the grant of a decree on the ground that the dissolution of the marriage will result in grave financial or other hardship to him and that it would in all the circumstances be wrong to dissolve the marriage.
Where the grant of a decree is opposed by virtue of this ground, then;
- If the court finds that the petitioner is entitled to rely in support of his petition on the fact of five years’ separation and makes no such findings as to any other fact as mentioned in section 1(2) of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 to wit;
- If one of the spouses has committed adultery in the marriage and the other spouse finds the act intolerable to continue in the marriage hence a divorce in Cameroon becomes the only option. The proof of adultery is usually based on circumstantial evidence as it is very remote for acts of adultery to be discovered by the other spouse.
- Since the marriage, one of the spouses has behaved in such a way that the other spouse cannot reasonably be expected to continue in the marriage. Hence a divorce in Cameroon becomes the only recourse. The behavior must be serious enough to qualify under this ground.
- Desertion of one of the spouses for a continuous period of two years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition.
- That the spouses have lived apart for a continuous period of two years immediately before the petition and the other spouse consented to divorce in Cameroon.
- That the parties to the marriage have lived apart for a continuous period of at least five years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition, and
- If apart from this section the court would grant a decree on the petition,
The court shall consider all the circumstances, including the conduct of the parties to the marriage and the interests of those parties and of any children or other persons concerned, and if of opinion that the dissolution of the marriage will result in grave financial or other hardship to the respondent and that it would in all the circumstances be wrong to dissolve the marriage, it shall dismiss the petition.
A hardship shall entail for the purpose of this circumstance the loss of the chance of acquiring any benefit that the respondent might acquire if the marriage were not dissolved.