Divorce Cases Pile up in Courts

With an average of 200 Jamaican couples filing for divorce each month, the Ministry of Justice is moving to make it easier for persons to make that final break.

Justice Minister Delroy Chuck says the many divorce filings have created a backlog in the court system because they all have to be signed by puisne judges.

According to Chuck, he will be submitting to the Cabinet and Parliament a proposal to amend the law to allow for a master in chambers to grant the initial divorce order dubbed a decree nisi.

This would allow more filings to move quickly through the legal system.

A decree nisi is a court order that allows the party to whom it applies to show cause why the divorce should not go through.

Six-week window

The decree nisi allows six weeks for anyone who objects to the divorce to tell the court why they object. It can often be set aside with mutual consent of the spouses.

After the six weeks, the matter will then be passed to a puisne judge to issue a decree absolute which means that the divorce is completed and the partners are no longer married.

Data from a Statistical Institute of Jamaica 2009 report show that 1,853 marriages ended in divorce that year. This worked out to a failure rate of 8.65 divorces for every 100 marriages.

Source: Jamaica Gleaner

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