Sole custody describes a custodial arrangement where only one parent or legal guardian has legal and physical responsibility for a child. This parent can make decisions without the other parent’s consent or input. As family relationships change and parents’ circumstances differ, a person may be granted sole custody of a child for more reasons than one.
Most common reasons for applying for sole custody of a child in Dominica:
- If one/both parents are incapable of caring for the child.
- It is suspected that the child may be in danger under their current guardianship.
- In the case of relocation, where one parent lives far away from the other and needs to make prompt decisions regarding the child’s well-being.
Dominica is also known as the Commonwealth of Dominica
The process to Claim Sole Custody of a Minor in Dominica is not as brutal as you would think:
- Firstly, you will need to locate a court with the jurisdiction to handle the lawsuit. The child’s domicile or the domicile of the person who has custody will also influence the court selected.
- Before the court proceedings, mediation occurs before the Public Ministry of the Court for Children and Adolescents. If no consensus is reached, a delivery certificate is issued and must be seen by the judge with the required jurisdiction.
On the occasion that no agreement is reached, the court proceedings can be filed in person by the person seeking sole custody, by an attorney at law, or as requested by the Public Ministry of Children and Adolescents.
You can file the claim with the clerk at the court of Children and Adolescents with the necessary supporting documents and petitions.
These documents include:
- Proper identification and information for the child and person seeking sole custody; as well as the other parent
- Child’s birth certificate
- List of reasons for these claims
- Information about the current residents of the child
- Any separation, divorce decree, visitation, or prior custody arrangements
- Witness statements, certification, or any other relevant information.
Cost of Filing for divorce in Dominica:
The divorce cost can average between $800 to $1000 US, depending on the lawyer selected to work on your case.
What to expect filing for divorce in Dominica:
- The main objective of the judge is to rule in the best interest of the child. The judge may consider several factors, including the current arrangement and living condition of the child.
- After all necessary paperwork and eligibility have been confirmed, a summons, including a court date, are sent to the absent parent.
- Parents or representatives of the parent are given time to make their case. A judge then sees the reasons and rebuttals for decisions made about the children.
- Claims made by the parent seeking sole custody will be investigated. And any prior agreements between the parents about the child.
- The judge will consider your income and expenses, mental state, and, in some instances, the child’s choice to determine which parent the child should be with.