The laws in Dominica concerning divorce are unambiguous. Divorce should only be granted if the differences between the couple cannot be reconciled. If the court found evidence that there was no attempt to save the marriage or that no ‘just cause’ is presented that warrants a divorce, they may give the couple time to reconsider their decision. If you have reason and supporting evidence for which your claims are based, then you will be allowed to proceed.
Some pointers that will assist you in identifying how a divorce hearing in Dominica will take place are:
- At least one spouse has to file for a divorce with reasonable cause as to why they would take this measure.
- Marriages less than one-year-old are generally not granted divorce except in case of infidelity or abuse. Sufficient evidence must be presented to prove such.
- A summons will be sent to the spouse that is not filing for divorce with sufficient time to contest the divorce or file additional claims.
- This summons will incur additional costs as ordered by the court; there will also be a processing fee when applying.
- You must be residing in Dominica for at least 12 months to file for a divorce. There must be no gaps between this filing date and your residency.
- If your spouse is not in the same country, additional time may be given to filing claims against the divorce.
- The court clerk will do the initial processing and advise you on the next step and whether or not you have enough grounds for a divorce.
The most common documents required are:
- Birth Certificate for the child.
- National identification for the filing parent.
- Valid identification of the person filing.
- General information, including an address for the respondent
- Evidence why you think this person is unfit to parent the child and why joint custody is not an option.
- Witness statements may also be presented.
Women’s (house-wife) indirect contribution to property in a divorce case in Dominica.
According to the national gender policy and the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court Act. Unlike other countries, the mannequin court may consider a woman’s indirect contribution to the property, even if she is not the sole or a joint owner. Taking into consideration that many relationships end with the wife’s name not being on any documentation. This would mean that all ownership rights would go to the husband.
Property distribution in Dominica after a divorce
If the parties involved can not decide how the property will be distributed, this decision will be left up to the court. These assets include bank statements, cars, houses, and even who the children will live with. Therefore, it is always more effective to come to an understanding with your spouse beforehand to establish these details. The court will consider the marriage duration, the standard of living established in the marriage, and each spouse’s income, among other factors.