Speedy Divorce In Jamaica
Looking for a speedy divorce in Jamaica West Indies? Let our divorce lawyers in Jamaica West Indies help you with your divorce proceedings.
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Speedy divorce in Jamaica West Indies
Looking for a divorce lawyer in Jamaica? Call 876-348-5181 now to speak with our legal experts about getting a speedy divorce in Jamaica W.I.
We would suggest that you be cautious about anyone promising you a speedy divorce in Jamaica as the divorce process can realistically take anywhere from 9 to 12 months!
The Internet is replete with articles lamenting the delays encountered by litigants in Jamaica who are attempting to get divorced. Many of these articles are current, but others date back several years; and the problem seems to have been improved in 2022.
According to a gleaner article published May 5 2022, the Justice Minister Delroy Chuck, had said that The average time for the completion of divorces in Jamaica has been slashed from three years in the past to 20 months in recent times, with many couples in the last year untying the knot within 16 weeks.
The Justice Minister also stated that “The reason it continues beyond the 16 weeks, which is possible, is that there are so many requisitions. The attorneys, especially the younger ones, are not properly providing the material necessary to complete the probate and the divorces,” Chuck noted.
SPEEDY DIVORCE IN JAMAICA. WHY DO COURT CASES TAKE SO LONG?
Ordinary citizens who become involved in court matters, often find that their cases take a long time to settle. The length of time depends on the nature and complexity of the cases, and can involve a fair amount of waiting time as there is a backlog of cases facing each court and cases are heard on a first come first served basis. In criminal matters, the investigation process also takes a significant portion of the time. However, civil matters are usually settled in a more reasonable time.
Family Law Lawyers in Jamaica West Indies
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Info on getting a divorce in Jamaica W.I.
Step 1 – Filing the Petition
Once filed, the petition is not immediately returned to the attorney for service on the respondent. The first delay occurs due to the insertion of a step which, although not stipulated by the Matrimonial Proceedings Rules, requires the court’s registrar to vet the petition before signing and stamping.
Even where there are no errors in the documents, the petition may take an average of one month to be signed. It could take longer, if an error is noted, which would involve the petition being refiled.
Step 2 – Applying for Decree Nisi
Fourteen days after the petition has been served on the respondent (in Jamaica), who raises no challenge to the divorce proceedings, the petitioner may submit an application to obtain the first order in the divorce proceedings – the decree nisi.
The application is supposed to be submitted to a judge to be considered without the need for a hearing. What seems like a simple process in theory, could result in an average of six months before the application is placed before a judge.
Step 3 – Applying for Decree Absolute
Six weeks after decree nisi is granted, the petitioner may apply for the final order in the divorce proceedings (decree absolute). This, too, is an application which goes before the judge for consideration without the need for a hearing. It could take upwards of two months for the application to be placed before the judge.
There is a myriad of other hiccups which plague divorce matters:
When the registrar checks the documents which are filed in divorce proceedings, or when the judge reviews the applications, there are times when requisitions are made because errors are noted in the documents or documents which should be on the court’s file are misplaced. When this happens, despite the promptitude of the response from the attorney, the file may join the end of the queue and face another lengthy delay.
There is a requirement for affidavits of search to be filed to say whether a respondent has filed any document challenging the divorce petition. Due to the lengthy delays at stages two and three, applications may be returned for further affidavits of search to be filed.
If one does not encounter the dreaded requisitions along the way, a typical uncontested divorce will take an average of nine months to be completed. I think that time lag can be significantly reduced and, in next week’s article, I will outline my proposed solution to the problems.