News broke out yesterday of an American actress, Halle Berry finalizing divorce with her husband after almost eight years of marriage. From the divorce documents, Halle Berry is to pay her husband $8000 for child and spousal support on a monthly basis; they are both to share joint legal custody of their nine-year-old son. Halle Berry is to take care of every schooling or extracurricular expense of their son. It doesn’t end there, Hale Berry is to pay her ex-husband 4.3% of every one of her earnings that exceeds two million dollars.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
Since this news broke, my phone has been buzzing nonstop with messages from folks who want to confirm how legal or how possible it is for the wife to pay the husband child and spousal support at the course of divorce and if it is the same case down here in Nigeria.
Of course, I understand why people are reacting this way to the news and finding it difficult to believe is because what we mostly hear or see is the case of the men paying child and spousal support to the women in the event of divorce.
Well, it is very possible and as a matter of law and practice that in the event of divorce, the woman can pay the man spousal support. What the court looks at is what is fair to each party; the court determines who contributed what and who earned more in the course of the marriage in order to determine who will earn what in the sharing of the wealth. This implies that the court will have to take note of what was acquired during the marriage. The court will consider the individual’s or each partner’s contribution to the marriage and to the acquisition of those properties or money.
It is important to note that the court will take into consideration not just the economic or financial contribution but also the moral contribution of each of the partners during the marriage. If one partner had to stay at home, take care of home, take care of the children and provide moral support while the other partner works and makes money, the court will equate the other partner’s staying at home to economic contribution and in the event of divorce it will be unfair to leave a partner who spent his or her time taking care of the home and couldn’t find the time to work with nothing because he or she made no financial or economic contributions to the marriage.
Sometimes it is even an agreement between the partners. The husband always asks their wives to quit their jobs or stop their work and spend time raising their children. It also happens although in rare cases that the partners will agree that the husband should quit his job and spend the time raising the children. It would be grossly unfair to leave a partner with nothing because he made no financial contribution to the marriage when it was the agreement by the partners for one of the partners not to work.
Therefore, whilst a woman paying spousal and child support to the man is very obtainable and applicable in Nigeria, why it is rare is that you rarely see a stay-at-home dad who has to stay at home, take care of the home while the woman works and make money but if there is any case where this had happened and the man is able to make his case very well the court will definitely order the wife to pay him spousal support.