How To File For Divorce In Jamaica

Do you want more info on how to file for divorce in Jamaica W.I.? Contact us now by completing the form and we will contact you about getting a speedy divorce in Jamaica.

Call us today at 876-667-5701

Who can apply for a divorce in Jamaica?

  • If you fall in any of the categories below, you may apply for a divorce in Jamaica:
  • You are a Jamaican national
  • You are domiciled in Jamaica at the commencement of the proceedings
  • You reside in Jamaica and have done so for at least 12 months immediately preceding the commencement of the proceedings.

Get in touch with the best divorce lawyers in Jamaica by calling 876-667-5701

Selecting a divorce lawyer to handle your family law case is a very important decision especially when kids are involved.

A divorce refers to the legal termination of a marriage. It is referred to as a dissolution of the marriage and with it there may be consequences for how property is divided, how maintenance is to be paid to either spouse and custody and access in respect of any relevant children. A divorce is often portrayed in television shows as filing papers, and to some extent, it can be as simple as that. In Jamaica, applications for dissolution of marriage can be considered solely on paper.


We help people in solving legal issues in Jamaica

Divorce Lawyers Jamaica

Where children and property are involved, the divorce process can include issues relating to spousal support, child support and custody, the distribution of property and the division of debt.


Divorce lawyers Jamaica is one of Jamaica's top divorce law firms. We specialise in complex, high net worth and international cases.

Spousal Support

Spousal maintenance is an amount awarded by the Courts to be paid by the spouse with the higher income to the spouse with the lower income when a couple divorces.

Child Support

Child maintenance covers how your child’s living costs will be paid when one of the parents does not live with the child. It’s made when you’ve separated from the other parent or if you’ve never been in a relationship.

Property Division

Divorce lawyers Jamaica is a top property law firm with expertise in complex and high-value cases. We pride ourselves on our discrete and thorough approach and premium client experience.

Family Law

Family lawyers act on matters such as divorce and separation, child contact and adoption, Local Authority care orders and financial settlements

Separation & Divorce

Most parents expect, or hope, to be together forever when they decide to have children, but sadly things don’t always work out that way.

Legal team reviewing a case file

On what basis will a divorce be granted?

In Jamaica, the parties must first be separated for a continuous period of 12 months notwithstanding attempts at reconciliation. The parties could still be viewed as separated even if they continue to cohabit in the same dwelling, for example, if the spouses sleep in separate bedrooms, or cease to engage in sexual relations, or cease to carry out household duties such as washing, cleaning or cooking on their spouse’s behalf. There are special considerations for marriages of less than two (2) years and there are additional requirements where children are involved. A court will not make any orders in relation to an application for dissolution of marriage unless it is satisfied that adequate arrangements are in place for any relevant child. The only ground for granting a divorce is an irretrievable breakdown in the marriage.

If there are no children and no dispute as it relates to maintenance or property distribution, the process of a divorce can be seamless.

Divorce Lawyer Tips

Fees: When you make your initial appointment with the divorce attorney, you should inquire about a consultation fee as some lawyers will charge a consultation fee and some won’t.

How does the lawyer make you feel?

While all the above issues are important, there is one final question you should ask yourself before hiring a divorce lawyer. Are you comfortable with that lawyer and are you confident in his or her abilities? If the answer is anything other than a resounding “yes,” you should keep looking. Your case is too important to entrust to someone who does not inspire your confidence.

Divorce attorney Victoria Brown and her team of female divorce lawyers

Did you know?

According to the Court Administration Division, the Supreme Court last year disposed of a record 3,859 divorces. There were 2,985 cases disposed of in 2020; 3,269 in 2019 and 3,325 in 2018; the pandemic’s restrictions on courts was cited for the 2020 slump in the figures.


The Divorce Process

Step 1 – Filing the Petition

The Petition is the document which speaks to the history of the marriage and the reasons for separation. Once the Petition is drafted and filed at the Supreme Court, it is reviewed by the Registrar of the Supreme Court who then certifies that it is a true copy and affixes the court’s seal. This certified true copy of the Petition is then returned to your attorney for service on your spouse.

Step 2 – Service of the True Copy of the Petition

The Petition must now be served on your spouse. A process server is retained and the document is served on him/her on your instructions. Your spouse has fourteen (14) days from the date of service to respond to the Petition by filing an Acknowledgement of Service in which the divorce is either contested or not. If the divorce is contested, a date will have to be fixed for a hearing and the Petitioner may have to prove all the facts set out in the Petition, including the fact of separation and that there is no possibility of resuming cohabitation. If your spouse indicates that he/she is not contesting the divorce in the Acknowledgement of Service then you may proceed to step 3. If fourteen days have passed since the true copy of the Petition has been served and your spouse has not filed an acknowledgement of service or any other document in response to the Petition, you may still proceed to step 3.

Step 3 – Applying for Decree Nisi

Fourteen (14) days after the true copy of the Petition has been served on your spouse in Jamaica (different timelines apply for service which takes place outside of Jamaica), provided there has been no challenge to the proceedings, the Petitioner may apply to the Court for a Decree Nisi which is the first indicative Order of the dissolution of the marriage. This application may be heard on paper and as such does not require the parties to attend Court.

Step 4 – Applying for Decree Absolute

Six weeks after Decree Nisi is granted, the Petitioner may apply for the final order in the divorce proceedings, the Decree Absolute. This application is also considered on paper without the need for the attendance at a hearing by the parties. This is the final stage in the dissolution of marriage and the Decree Absolute is proof to the world that your marriage has been resolved.

Notwithstanding the ease of the process outlined above, each divorce is unique and through consultation with your attorney, you can gain advice on how to best treat with any ancillary matters that may arise. These ancillary matters may include custody, maintenance for children and spouse; and or property distribution.

Scroll to Top