About 70 per cent of Ghanaian married women who file for divorce later return to the courts with pregnancies belonging to the very husbands they sought to part ways with.
Mr. Felix Atsuvia, the Head of the Statistical Division of the Judicial Service, who disclosed this to The Spectator on Wednesday, said about 80 per cent of these expectant mothers eventually drop their divorce application.
In such situations, he continued, “We readily grant their requests, except in some situations such as where there are incidences of abuse against the women”.
Mr. Atsuvia said that as a statutory body, the Judicial Service normally does not favour separation of couples, as such situations, affected the upbringing of children in the marriage.
He explained that due to the cumbersome procedures and stages involved in the granting of divorce, many wives happened to lose interest midway, especially upon realising that their applications would not be granted straightaway.
Consequently, he said “they become reluctant to pursue it further, to the extent that some normally even forget the days they have to come to court.
“When it happens like this, we then have to be calling and reminding them to come to court for hearing,” he said, adding: “Some eventually come, others never do!”
“A little over 70 per cent of these applicants, will come for their second hearing and you will often see that they are pregnant for the very husbands they wanted to divorce,” Mr. Atsuvia said.
This situation, he said, made it difficult sometimes for the service to compile records and statistics about divorces in the country “because just as I was saying, many initiate the legal process but never conclude it”.
He said for instance, in 2008, about 300 cases of divorces were filed with the service, but they were all “disposed off” because the couples later decided to “patch up”.
Mr. Atsuvia said the courts normally advised against divorce, and entreated applicants to seek advice from kinsmen and their religious leaders.
“This shows that we also understand the challenges that our children go through when there is divorce,” he said, and advised couples to commit themselves to their marriages and make the conscious effort to resolve challenges when they arise.”
By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe