Contested Divorce

What is a Contested Divorce in Jamaica?

In a contested divorce in Jamaica, the spouses are unable to come to an agreement on issues such as division of marital assets, and child custody. In such situations, the litigation process in Jamaica has been known to take longer to conclude and often involves an increase in legal fees. 

Meeting with your Attorney

  • Once you have met with a divorce attorney in Jamaica, they will interview you thoroughly. During this interview, your attorney will gather all documents pertaining to: 
  • The children produced in the marriage.
  • Your marital assets 
  • And any other issues you feel that are pertinent.  

They will then access and determine what they feel you might be entitled to, prepare your divorce petition, and file it with the court in Jamaica. 

This will entail a lot of diligent work on your part. You’ll need to gather all the pertinent documents. Determine what you want your attorney to ask for in the divorce petition pertaining to division of marital assets, child support & custody, alimony, and also how marital debt will be split between the both of you. We advise you to keep a copy of all relevant documents that your attorney files with the Supreme court. 

Serving the Divorce Petition to Your Spouse 

Once your divorce petition is filed with the court, your lawyer will then serve the petition on your spouse.  If you are not able to locate your spouse, a notice will be published in one of the local newspapers, and you will then have to wait a predetermined amount of time before proceeding further with the divorce. 

Your Spouse Responds to the Divorce Petition 

Your spouse will have to respond to the petition for divorce. If your spouse does not respond within the legal specified time limit.

If your spouse does respond, your case will proceed on to the discovery and settlement stages. 


Discovery is the part of the process during which spouses are able to obtain detailed information from each other about custody, income, marital assets, and any other issues relevant to their case. This is done through depositions, document requests, written interrogatories.   


Most judges in Jamaica W.I. will encourage the spouses to come to an agreement before the final court date. 

There’s the possibility that the judge may order the spouses to go through mediation where a third party attempts to help them negotiate any pertinent unresolved issues. 

If both parties are not able to come to an agreement, then the case will be scheduled for divorce court. 


During a divorce trial in Jamaica, you will be able to have your lawyer call a witness.  If there are custody issues involved, then you will need witnesses to help you prove your children would be better off in your custody than your spouse.  

For more information on the getting a uncontested divorce in Jamaica, complete our form on this page.