Divorce Jurisdiction in the TCI

I am not originally from TCI but I live here.  Can I get divorced here?

 

Divorce in TCI is dealt with by the Matrimonial Causes Ordinance 2012.  In that respect:-

  1. The court has jurisdiction if, and only if, either of the parties to the marriage (i) is domiciled in the islands on the date when the proceedings are begun or (ii) was ordinarily resident in the islands throughout the period of one year ending with that date.  Domicile is a legal concept indicating where a party intends permanently to reside and is separate from citizenship or a legal right to reside somewhere. It may be difficult for you to establish that TCI is your domicile. Have you been ordinarily resident here for the past 12 months?  “Ordinary residence” for legal purposes usually means that you have spent more than half of the year here.
  1. A petition for divorce may be presented to the court by either party to a marriage on the ground that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.
  1. The court shall not hold the marriage to have broken down irretrievably unless the petitioner (the person bringing the divorce application) satisfies the court of one of the following facts:-

 a. That the other party (the respondent) has committed adultery and that in consequence the petitioner finds it intolerable to live with the respondent.

b. That the respondent has behaved in such a way that the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent.

c. That the respondent has deserted the petitioner for a continuous period of at least 2 years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition.

d. That the parties have lived apart for a continuous period of at least 2 years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition, and the respondent consents to a divorce decree being granted.

e. That the parties have lived apart for a continuous period of at least 5 years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition (no consent of respondent needed for this one).

Do these circumstances apply in your situation?  If so you ought to be able to file a petition for divorce here.

Please consult your Misick & Stanbrook professional in relation to the nuts and bolts of the application, costs, details of the procedures, and duration.

Misick & Stanbrook

February 2015

The information provided in this article does not constitute legal advice and is not intended by the authors or Misick & Stanbrook to do so.  Before relying on any information or opinion in this article you ought first to obtain advice on your particular circumstances from your Misick & Stanbrook professional.