3 Options for filing for divorce
1. Filing the petition yourself
If there are no children in the marriage, substantial assets or debts, and you won’t be discussing spousal support, then you may consider the option of self-filing. You and your spouse would complete, sign, and file the forms to Co-Petition for Dissolution.
Nevertheless we will always advise you to seek counsel from a Family Law Attorney as there may be circumstances that you may not be aware of, until its too late.
2. Divorce Mediation JamaicaA divorce mediator works with both of you to guide you through understanding, negotiating, and making decisions for all issues related to divorce. The mediator writes a detailed agreement which is then filed with the Supreme Court of Jamaica and becomes your legal divorce settlement agreement. You may experience many benefits of mediation, including lower cost, time, and less conflict. Mediation does not require you to be on good terms with your spouse. Mediators have many problem-solving and conflict resolution tools at their disposal to keep you productively moving towards a final settlement. Mediation is not appropriate in situations that contain domestic violence, or in which either of the parties does not have the mental capacity to make conscious decisions.
3. Divorce Litigation
In the traditional litigated approach, you would hire a divorce lawyer to file a Petition for Dissolution against your spouse. Once they are “served” with the legal notice, your spouse’s lawyer will then file a counter-petition which responds to and contests the divorce. From this point forward, your attorneys negotiate with each other. Each divorce lawyer advocates for their clients best outcome while discouraging any direct communication between the spouses.
Your attorneys will usually pressure each of you to compromise on certain issues as the trial date gets closer. Cases that do not settle ahead of time are “tried” by a family court judge (not a jury) at the Supreme Court of Jamaica. During the trial, each attorney presents the case to the judge through the testimony of witnesses (including the spouses) and supporting documents (if necessary). The most conflicted divorce litigation involves conflict around child custody.
All Ways are Not Equal
You may recognize significant differences in these 3 options that we have written about. The options presented are on a continuum regarding several factors. Beginning with number one, as you move down the list you will experience greater cost, conflict, and time in the process. You will also experience less options, control, and input over the outcome of your case.
Speedy Divorce in Jamaica
Unfortunately there is no such thing as a Speedy Divorce in Jamaica. Be careful of lawyers who promise that they can get you divorced in 3 months.
In our next article we offer tips about purchasing a house after the dissolution of marriage has been granted by the court.
Need more info on filing for a divorce in Jamaica West Indies? Then contact us today.