Tamika Harris and Associates conduct all family law cases with knowledge, skill, and compassion. In matters involving children, our paramount concern is the welfare of the children. Our ultimate goal is an outcome that facilitates peaceful coexistence and fairness to all parties.
Family & Custody Law
We offer sound legal advice and effective legal representation in divorce, custody, matrimonial property dispute, and maintenance.
Typical Family & Custody Law claims to include:
- Division of Matrimonial Property
- Maintenance Order
- Child Custody
- Guardianship Application
- Pre-Nuptial Agreements
- Restraining Orders
What is meant by getting a divorce?
A divorce means the ending of the marriage. Other matters, involving custody and maintenance are called “ancillary relief”.
Can I do it myself or do I need legal advice?
You need the services of an Attorney-at-Law to draft and file the relevant documents in the Supreme Court of Jamaica on your behalf.
What will it cost?
There is a government-imposed fee of $5000.00, payable at the Stamp Office (Tax Administration Jamaica) on filing the application. For further information on costs and legal fees contact us directly by email or telephone.
What are the grounds for divorce in Jamaica?
There is only one ground in Jamaica, that is, irretrievable breakdown. Faults such as adultery, cruelty, abuse, etc, are not necessary to obtain a divorce.
Irretrievable breakdown is proved by one year living separately and apart.
Can we be separated while still living in the same house?
Couples can be separated under the same roof if they can show evidence that their marriage has broken down. The court must be satisfied that the couple doesn’t:
- Attend social functions together as man and wife
- Cook for each other
- Perform household duties for each other
- Share a bedroom
What documents are required for the divorce?
You will need a marriage certificate.
Do I need to attend court?
If the divorce is not contested, you do not need to attend court.
What if I cannot find the other party?
You can still obtain a divorce. You may make an application to the court to dispense with personal service of the divorce documents and for what is called “substituted service”. Contact us for further details.
Can I oppose a divorce?
Unless the separation is less than 12 months or there is a real prospect of reconciliation, you cannot contest a divorce. If the court is not satisfied that proper child maintenance is being paid, or is not satisfied that the children are seeing both parents, a divorce can be delayed. Contact us for further details.
How long will it take?
It takes an average of nine months to be completed.
When can I remarry?
After the “Decree Absolute” is granted by the court. You need to produce this document in the event you wish to remarry.
When can I start my divorce proceedings?
You can start your divorce proceedings after at least 2 years of marriage and 1 year of separation.