My Marriage is Over
What should I know about Jamaican divorce proceedings?
What steps do I take if I would like to get divorced?
Here are a few things to consider.
A divorce granted by the Supreme Court is required to legally end a marriage. Divorce proceedings may also define the terms of dissolution, including division of property, spousal and child support and custody of children.
How does it work?
Divorce proceedings in Jamaica may begin once a twelve-month period of separation has been observed. The twelve-month separation period may still be recognised even if the parties live in the same home. The next steps are matters of procedure per your attorney’s guidance.
File the Petition
The Petition details the particulars of the marriage and reasons for separation. The Petition is filed at the Supreme Court, reviewed, certified and sealed by the Registrar of the Supreme Court, and sent back to your attorney to be served to the spouse.
Serve the Petition
Your attorney may secure the services of a process server to serve this True Copy of the Petition on your spouse. You can also have friends or relatives serve the Petition and give the particulars of service to your attorney. The spouse will then have fourteen (14) days from the date of service to file an Acknowledgement of Service in which to indicate whether they are contesting the divorce or not.
If they contest the divorce, a court date is set. If they either indicate they are not contesting the divorce, or they fail to acknowledge service past the fourteen-day window, the proceedings move into the next phase.
Apply for Decree Nisi
If fourteen days have passed without any challenge to the proceedings, you may then apply to the Court for a Decree Nisi which can be done via paperwork without a court appearance. It is the first official stage of officially recognising the dissolution of the marriage.
Apply for Decree Absolute
Six (6) weeks after the Decree Nisi is granted, you may file for your Decree Absolute. This document confirms the dissolution of the marriage and occurs through paperwork and no court appearances.
The termination of the marriage may not address other matters like custody and financial arrangements. It’s important to give your attorney all the details of children, properties, financial and living arrangements so they can determine what is best to include as part of the divorce proceedings.
Navigating a divorce
requires sensitivity and
The team at MFG will guide you through the process with empathy and efficiency.