Are You Ready for a Divorce in Jamaica

Find out of you are ready for a divorce. I don't think my wife likes me very much, when I had a heart attack she wrote for an ambulance.- Frank Carson “You don't know a woman till you've met her in court.”- Norman Mailer In the absence of sound legal advice from a competent divorce lawyer a divorce can be an emotionally traumatic and financially taxing experience. Most clients who come to see us during their consultation session are asked a series questions to determine their divorce readiness.

Many do not meet the legal qualifications for it. Some have been separated for a long time and only seek a divorce when they are contemplating another marriage, thereby making time of the essence. If you think you are ready for a divorce here are a couple of things to consider to know whether you are in fact ready:

1. How long have you been married;
2. How long have you been separated;
3. Do you have any children and what agreement have you made for their care and upbringing
4. Do you want maintenance or will your spouse require maintenance;
5. Do you own property (s) and how will you share the interest, if at all;
6. Are you and your spouse on speaking terms and does your spouse also want a divorce;
7. Do you know your spouse’s whereabouts; and
8. Are you planning on remarrying and when.

How Long Should I be Separated?

The answers to these questions will determine your readiness. Jamaican law requires you to be married for at least 2 years and separated for at least 1 year to qualify for a divorce. However, there are certain exemptions under Jamaican law that would allow you to obtain a divorce even if you have been married for less than 2 years. You must however satisfy certain special conditions under the law before you can be granted an early divorce. The consent of both parties, the presence of domestic violence and abuse and the belief by both parties that an early exit is necessary for their mental, physical and emotional well-being, are some factors that would persuade a Court to grant an early divorce.

Your Spouse’s Whereabouts

Not knowing the whereabouts of your spouse can present a challenge in obtaining a divorce, since the law requires that good and sufficient notice be given to your spouse of your intention to file for a divorce. Jamaican divorce laws require that your spouse be personally served with a copy of the Divorce Petition by a third party. If you do not know your spouse’s whereabouts you must make an application in our court for permission to serve your spouse by a suitable, alternate means that will enable the Petition being brought to your spouse’s attention.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Yualande Christopher & Associates
Yualande Christopher-Walker is the founder of Yualande Christopher & Associates.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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