Unlike England and Wales, Jamaica is a strictly no-fault divorce jurisdiction with just one ground for divorce: the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Unless there are special circumstances, including alleged domestic violence couples must have been married for two years and separated for one year before seeking a divorce.
The divorce rate continues to climb. There is some criticism of the length of time the process can take because of case backlogs and administrative delays.
Spousal maintenance is not automatic if both parties have the ability to support themselves. In 2005 the Maintenance Act was amended to allow husbands to claim maintenance from wives for the first time.
Decisions relating to the custody of children are taken in the child’s interests as in England and Wales. Historically Jamaica’s failure to sign up to the Hague Convention on Child Abduction meant child removal and cross border protection of children was sometimes an issue in international divorce here. In 2017 however Jamaica acceded to the Convention, appointing a specialist judge to the international network of judges working for it.
We are specialist divorce lawyers and family solicitors and we advise clients who have a connection with Jamaica. Our clients can include those who are UK–based but originate from Jamaica, are living in Jamaica but have a connection with England or Wales, were married in Jamaica, or have other family connections with Jamaica.
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