Marriages before the end of the 20th century were bonded with traditional rites and taboos. Marriages, whether solemnized in court, church or mosque are usually binded with legal vows to love, honour and cherish till death do them part, divorce rate was therefore, seemingly negligible.
Unfortunately, most of such rites and vows are apparently becoming unrealistic in this present dispensation of new morality, which places high premium on absolute freedom of a person to do anything he or she desires. This is evidenced in the overwhelming increase in the rate of single parents which is necessitated a deliberate divorce arrangement of couples. The devastating effect of this on the offspring’s appears to be grave. Hence Eze-Echesi (2009, P.91) reminded and emphatically warned Nigerians that “the family is a sacred unit and should be respected. It should also be protected and supported, because without the family there will be no life and there would be no world”.
1.1 Background to the Study
Marriage can be defined as a legal union between husband and wife. It is recognized by all and publicly accepted by the society as a pre-condition for the formation of the family. According to Osuafor (1990) marriage is the approval of social pattern whereby two or more persons establish a family. Marriage can then be said to be the process through which a social union is formed between a man and a woman or women for the purpose of procreation, which is bearing and rearing children. Leneman (1999) defines marriage as legally recognized agreement between a man and a woman making them husband and wife, the state of being married. In most studies, it has been observed that the single most important ingredient of marriage is companion in doing things together with the husband as the most valuable aspect of marriage. It is also noted that emotional support is an important ingredient of marriage for wives. Both parties expect each other to encourage themselves in difficulty, sympathize with each other on failure, celebrate in success, embrace their friends and defy his enemies and to be calm when the other is angry. Emotional security is an aspect of emotional support.
However, marriage being a union is found to be characterized by certain demands and expectations on the part of the couple. In addition, such demands and expectations embrace issues like loyalty in marriage, faithfulness, acceptance of responsibilities, emotional security, and companionship and so on.
One may observe that a marital relationship devoid of above factors often face a lot of problems and generate a lot of stains like marital discord, lack of emotional closeness to ones partner, psychological separation, lack of mutual understanding, role conflict, financial conflict, lack of effective communication, sexual conflict and unhappiness which obviously can lead to divorce.
The world Book encyclopedia (1972) defined divorce as the ending by law of a valid marriage. It is usually distinguished from an annulment, which is a declaration by a court that marriage is invalid (not legally binding) because of some defect at the time of marriage ceremony.
Divorce is legal dissolution of marriage bond. Once the couple decides to divorce, they are free to remarry again. In Nigeria, there has been the increase in the rate of divorce. There are two factors influencing the rising divorce rates in the Nigeria. The first factor is both men and women are relying less on one another for economic survival. As women gain status in their work place or on their businesses, they often want to stand on their own and prefer to control their lives’ affair which enabling them to be less dependent on their husbands, the heads of household. Women who are gainfully employed and self-sufficient may be more willing to dissolve a marriage because they are not perceived as a financially dependent spouse. Financial stability allows for the female head of household to have more flexibility to exit a broken marriage. Secondly, when both male and female parents gain political status in the society, one seems to be superior over the over due to political gain. They seem not have chance to look after the family, especially the female ones which more likelihood be the victims of divorce
Divorce is a complex event that can be viewed from multiple perspectives. For example, sociological research has focused primarily on structural and life course predictors of marital disruption, such as social class, race, and age at first marriage (Bumpass, Martin, & Sweet, 1991; White, 1991).
Psychological research, in contrast, has focused on dimensions of marital interaction, such as conflict management (Gottman, 1994), or on personality characteristics, such as antisocial behavior or chronic negative affect (Leonard & Roberts, 1998). One limitation of these approaches is that neither considers the individual’s perceptions about why the divorce occurred. Indeed, when explaining what caused their marriages to end, people appear to give relatively little credence to widely studied factors such as age at marriage or conflict resolution skills.
Divorce is a severe family disorganization and a common topic of gossip in our society. This is due to the fact that divorcees are regarded by the society as the worst people in morals, deviants and insatiable elements. A divorced woman is regarded as being of such bad character that a man cannot think of remarrying her within a short space of time in the same community. It is the belief of most people that once the first marriage fails; it is never easy to be successful with other subsequent marriages. Divorce has been shown to have some socio-psychological after effects on both partners and their children. For instance lack of parental role model (Goode, 1975) or even emotional anxiety and negative attitude towards life.
Based on the above overview, one may observe that divorce as a socio-psychological problem is quite common in most societies and cultures. Hence the researcher intends to investigate on the factors influencing divorce in Keffi local government area.
1.2 Statement of the Problems
Divorce, which was a rare phenomenon before the close of the 20th century, has apparently become common place today. It is being done freely as if it has no negative effect on the children and the society. Yet, the prevalence of single parents in our society today appears to have caused some negative effects on the children of such relationships such that children are seemingly demanding to know the value and essence of marriage when they are neither cared for nor have a model to copy from. Divorce has suddenly become a precipitator of moral decay and insecurity in our society. Laha (2007, P. 2) laments that “since children have no good moral examples to copy from and no moral values are inculcated into them, they turned round to develop their own”. The situation seemingly has given rise to social vices and psychological trauma, which require immediate attention. It is against this backdrop that the study was embarked upon to investigate into the factors that influence divorce in Keffi local government area of Nasarawa state and to recommend some possible intervention strategies, which may ensure peace and stability in the country at large.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The main object of this study is to empirically investigate the factors that influence divorce among couple in Keffi local. While the specific objective include;
- To examine whether marital infidelity influence divorce among couple?
- To examine whether income influence divorce among couple?
- To examine whether polygamy influence divorce among couple?
- To examine the psychosocial effects of divorce on family offspring’s in Keffi Local Government Area?
- To examine level of educational attainment of couples influence the prevalence of divorce in Keffi Local Government Area?
1.4 Definition of Terms
INFLUENCE: According to Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, it is the effect that somebody or something has no the way a person thinks or behaves or on the way that something works or develops.
DIVORCE: This is the dissolution of a valid marriage or the ending of a valid marriage before the death of either spouse.
METROPOLIS: This is the city or capital.
1.5 Research Questions
In order to successfully accomplish the purpose of the study, five research questions were drawn. They are:
- Does marital infidelity influence divorce among couple?
- To what extent does income influence divorce among couple?
- Does polygamy influence divorce among couple?
- What are the psychosocial effects of divorce on family offspring’s in Keffi Local Government Area?
- Does educational attainment of couples influence the prevalence of divorce in Keffi Local Government Area?
1.6 Research Hypothesis
This research is based on the following hypothesis
H0 : Marital infidelity does not influence divorce among couple
H0 : Polygamy does not influence divorce among couple
1.7 Significant of the Study
The result of this study may be of immense benefit to the public and private individuals, government, parents, religious leaders, school counsellors, students, teachers, school management and researchers. The findings of the study may be of great help to the public and private individuals as it will expose the ugly and negative effect of divorce on the family offspring which will serve as a caution to couples to avoid divorce by all means The result of the study may help the government to know the negative impact of divorce on children that are members of the society and future leaders. It will then motivate the government to establish a law or policy against divorce in order to have sound disciplined citizens. The result of the study may also help teacher and the school management to study and understand the coping strategies to apply to the solution of the effects of divorce on the affected students’ academic performance. The study may help the researcher to understand the factors that influence divorce among couple. It may motivate them to study and carry out research on other aspect of divorce there by creating strong awareness of the negative effect of divorce on the society as a whole. Lastly, the findings of the study may help to educate the students of the divorced parents about the need for them to report their problems to other family members, and social welfare officers for assistance, instead of indulging in anti-social behaviour
1.8 Scope of the Study
The study centred on the study that influence divorce among couple in Keffi Local Government Area of Nasarawa state. The areas of performance the study intend to cover are, the effects of divorce on children offspring the psychology effect of divorce children performance.