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Filing for a divorce in Trinidad & Tobago

Few people marry intending to get a divorce. Unfortunately, it still happens more frequently than we would like to admit….

By Legal Writer , in Tobago Trinidad Uncategorized , at November 13, 2017 Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Few people marry intending to get a divorce. Unfortunately, it still happens more frequently than we would like to admit. A divorce is the absolution of a marriage between spouses. Here we focus on Trinidad, as we explore how one gets a divorce in Trinidad? 

Trinidad laws consider your request for a divorce with very keen eyes. You find that a divorce is granted in Trinidad under the circumstance that there is absolutely no way that the marriage can be repaired. 

Common reasons divorces are granted in Trinidad without much hassle are: 

  1. If your spouse has been unfaithful – where infidelity steps in, one spouse may find it hard to live with the other. 
  2. Spouse exhibiting unusual behavior and actions- In this case, a spouse may not desire to continue living with a spouse if they have been exhibiting unusual behavior. They are causing the spouse discomfort.
  3. Dissertation: Your spouse has abandoned you and has not played his/her supporting role as a husband/wife. 
  4. Both partners have not lived together for over two years, and you both wish for a divorce. 
  5. If you and your spouse have not lived together for longer than five years immediately before filing and either of you wishes to file for a divorce. 

In typical cases, you can not file for a divorce in Trinidad if your marriage is under one-year-old. If you can prove that you have experienced hardship caused in direct association with your spouse, they will grant your divorce.

Where do you file for a divorce in Trinidad?

 To start this process, you will need to file with the Family court:

4 Cipriani Boulevard

Cipriani Place

Port of Spain

Trinidad. 

You can also file with the supreme court with judicial capabilities. After initially filing, it will take approximately eight weeks for your case to be heard in court. 

How will my spouse be served:

They serve all Summons to your spouse in hand by a Marshal’s assistant working with the court. This is to provide transparency and reduce your spouse’s chance of saying that they did not receive the papers. Whether it is the Summons:

  • Giving notice that the divorce process as stated 
  • Statement of the arrangement, where provisions are made for the children 

It is the responsibility of the person filing for the divorce to either be present when the papers are being served or to provide clear identification for the marshal’s assistant to locate the respondent.

The respondent will have eight days to file suitable applications regarding shared property and arrangements for the children. And up to twenty days to state whether they wish to contest the divorce. These are essential timelines to keep in mind. 

During the proceedings:

For divorces not contested:

  •  During your first court hearing, if your divorce is not contested, the judge will hear evidence to decide whether there is a chance of reconciliation. If the judge decides that there is no such possibility, then a Decree Nisi is issued by the court. 
  • Suppose matters including dissolution of property and the statement of arrangement for the children have not yet been decided. The judge may set another court hearing to address these matters. It would be easier for you and your spouse to conclude these issues beforehand in these matters. 

For divorces that are contested:

  • The procedure may require more hearings, and the judge will assign dates to deal with each matter at hand. 

A divorce in Trinidad can take as little as six weeks to be completed. This depends on whether or not both parties agree on concern matters and whether the divorce is being contested. 

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