Saturday, June 22, 2024
Legal New, Views, tips for the Caribbean

Filing for sole custody in the Bahamas

It is always preferred that both parents have a relationship with and are active and present in their child’s life….

It is always preferred that both parents have a relationship with and are active and present in their child’s life. At one point in the Bahamas, the father had more rights in custody situations than the mother did. Today, the court takes one main factor in mind: the child’s best interest. And will most likely award full custody of the child to the parent that is mentally, emotionally, financially, and physically more fit. This article focuses on what you need to know about getting sole custody in the Bahamas’ commonwealth. 

What will I need to file for full custody of a child?

Getting sole parental custody of a child in the Bahamas can be difficult but is very much attainable. The first thing you would need is enough evidence to show that the other parent should not have access to the child or children in question. Once you have gathered this evidence, you would need documents to present to a court clerk or a justice of the peace for them to confirm that you may proceed with your case. The records you may need includes:

  • The application provided by the court
  • Witness statements if abuse has been reported
  • Proper identification for the filing parent
  • Birth or adoption baby for the child or children
  • Financial information (in some cases)
  • The name and the address of the other parent (not filing).
  • You may also need photo identification for the parent not filing so the summons can be served to the right person. 

Cost of applying for custody of a child in the Bahamas

Several other factors may influence how much you will pay to get full custody of your child. Some of these factors may include: 

  • Cost of application processing 
  • Cost of the summons servicing
  • a child psychologist costs if you feel the other parent has caused psychological stress on the child. 
  • Miscellaneous fees include subpoenaing bank records or other documents of the other parent. 

Your total court cost is approximately between $100 and 500 dollars depending on your specific case. 

Here are some things that the court will consider before opting to grant custody to either parent:

  •  The court may consider income, earnings, financial resources, and what they may potentially earn in the unforeseen future for each parent. 
  • The financial obligations, responsibility, needs of both parents, and the commitments and responsibilities that are likely to occur in the foreseeable future.
  •  The standard of living enjoyed by the dependent before application; and whether the filing parent can keep up to it.
  •  The age of the children may allow them to choose with which parent they would like to live. 
  • The physical, financial, and emotional contributions made by each parent to the welfare of the children. 

Under the law, specifically the Child Protection Act, Section 3, custody cases are primarily dealt with by the Supreme Court or the Family Court of The Bahamas’ Commonwealth. 

The main activities in the proceedings are:

  1. Application filing
  2. Summons served
  3. The case was presented to the court.
  4. Court investigate matters (if Necessary)
  5. The court may give an alternative date (if necessary)

A ruling can be given as soon as activity 3, with the sole custody battle duration being from 4 – 6 weeks after the application has been filed.