Protecting the Best Interests of Children: A Critical Analysis of Child Custody and Divorce Proceedings in Nigeria under the Child Rights Act 2003

Wilson Diriwari

PhD (Brunel University), London) L.L.M. (Lagos State University), L.L.B. (Obafemi Awolowo University), Solicitor (England and Wales). Lecturer in Law. The author accepts full responsibility for any errors or omissions in this paper and welcomes correspondence to


Damfebo K Derri

Professor of law. Dean of the Faculty of Law. Niger Delta University Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Nigeria



Purpose: This journal article is to analyse child custody and divorce cases in Nigeria emphasising the Child Rights Act of 2003.

Design Methodology/ Approach: This study uses textual analysis including library sources, case studies, and government reports, to examine the difficulties that occur when children’s best interests are not taken into account in the course of custody battles within Nigeria’s legal system.

Findings: It is obvious from the findings of this study that the Child Rights Act 2003, protects the rights and welfare of children during divorce processes. Nonetheless, practices and lack of means make it difficult to implement it.

Original Value: The originality is seen through this paper’s ability to present useful information concerning Nigerian child custody and divorce processes. Moreover, it suggests some ways of improving child custody orders while at the same time implementing the Child Rights Act 2003. In Nigerian culture, this research helps us understand how we can protect children during marital disputes with its attendant problems as well as prospects

Keywords: Child Custody, Divorce proceedings, Child rights, best interests


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