I got married in Jamaica, how do I get divorced?
The ultimate expression of true love is getting married. Many couples from overseas had chosen Jamaica as the island to say “I Do”, and to start their life of love and happiness together. It may have taken months or years of planning. Divorce, on the other hand, is another story.
When the marriage, unfortunately breaks down we usually get a lot of enquiries that start out with “I got married in Jamaica, how do I get divorced?”
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Matrimonial Causes Act of Jamaica
The categories of persons who can apply for a divorce in Jamaica pursuant to the Matrimonial Causes Act are as follows :
- Where either party to the marriage is a Jamaican national; or
- Where either party to the marriage is domiciled in Jamaica at the commencement of the proceedings; or
- Where either party to marriage resides in Jamaica and have done so for at least 12 months immediately preceding the commencement of the proceedings.
Accordingly, if persons got married in Jamaica but either party to the marriage does not meet any of the requirements outlined above, then the Court in Jamaica would not have to jurisdiction or power to grant the divorce or the decree for dissolution of the marriage.
A key concern during divorce will be decisions that are made about the children, including arrangements to see both their parents and extended family members, how their welfare needs will be met financially as well as key important decisions over education or healthcare as they grow up. Depending on the age of your children, significant weight may also be given to their wishes and feelings. The welfare of your children will always be the paramount concern especially during a divorce. We will represent your interests and advise you on how the Supreme Court of Jamaica will view the proposed arrangements.
Need more info on filing for divorce if you got married in Jamaica? Then complete our form or click the chatbot icon (bottom right) and we will get back to you within 18 minutes during business hours.
We help people in solving legal issues in 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.
Do I have to physically be in Jamaica in order to obtain the divorce?
Once the Attorneys receives certain instructions, it could utilize the procedure where the divorce is granted ‘on paper’ which simply means the procedure where the divorce is granted after filing different documents at different stages of the proceedings without the necessity of a hearing or attendance of the parties at Court. These documents which are filed include:-
(i) The Petition and supporting or accompanying documents;
(ii) The Affidavit of Service of the Petition and Supporting documents
(iii) The Notice of Application to Dispense with Hearing or Decree Nisi Application
(iv) The Decree Absolute Application– Six weeks after the granting of the Decree Nisi, the Petitioner may apply for the final order ending the marriage called the Decree Absolute.
Although terminating a foreign marriage likely will not present any overly significant challenges, even a basic termination of a domestic marriage is complex. Therefore, consider engaging our services to represent your interests by completing our contact form.
Divorce Info for U.S. Citizens Married in Jamaica
The laws of all U.S. states permit you to obtain a divorce even if your marriage occurred overseas. The only caveat is that the foreign marriage must be valid pursuant to the laws of the country where it occurred, according to the American Bar Association Section of Family Law. The procedures for ending a foreign divorce in the United States are not vastly different from terminating a marriage entered into under the laws of any jurisdiction in the country.
Before any of the parties can apply for a Divorce, you must be married for a minimum of two (2) years and must have lived separate and apart for a minimum of one (1) year before you can apply for the Divorce. You must have a certified copy of the Marriage Certificate available.
The process involves the signing of a Petition which gives details of the marriage and how it broke down. If there are any children under the age of 18 years an affidavit sworn before a Justice of the Peace or Notary Public has to accompany the petition outlining the Arrangements for the Children. This include the names, dates of birth and addresses of the children and the arrangement in place for their support and maintenance. The documents i.e. Petition and Affidavit relating to the Children if there are any are filed in the Supreme Court and Court fees of $2,000.00 (at date of publication of this website) are payable. After the Registrar of the Supreme Court certifies and seals the petition, it is ready for delivery upon the other party to the marriage.
Divorce Tips Jamaica
An experienced divorce attorney in Jamaica can you to make certain that you receive everything that you deserve during a divorce. If your marriage has any complicated issues to settle, an attorney can be an invaluable resource. For example, if there is child custody and support issues, substantial income, debts, assets or future assets (an inheritance, etc.) then you should hire an attorney to protect your interests in a divorce.
U.K. Citizens – Are there advantages if I choose to divorce abroad?
It can be more advantageous financially if you divorce in another country. England has been dubbed the “divorce capital of Europe” because of the wide ranging discretionary powers that the English court has and it is well known that the English courts can be very generous to wives who are pursuing financial claims.
Avoiding Delays in Divorce Proceedings in Jamaica
Something we’ve seen regularly is that people who have been separated for a while and moved on in a new relationship and many times they may go as far as getting engaged and planning their next wedding, before they have finalised their divorce. They are surprised when we tell them that we can’t get them the “speedy divorce” they keep hearing about or reading in the newspapers. It’s best not to plan a new wedding day before you have the divorce well underway. And remember you won’t be able to get remarried until your Decree Absolute has materialised.
Though a person may use court provided documents to file for divorce, there can still be problems with completing the proper forms and providing adequate information and documentation. A person who goes to court without legal counsel may find that problems with the paperwork or other issues may result in very lengthy delays that may even take years due to the back and forth of documents before getting the court’s ruling. By hiring a divorce attorney in Jamaica West Indies, a person can avoid paperwork or other problems that could cause a delay and get the divorce completed as quickly as possible, usually within 1 year.
Need more info? Then contact us today.