MATRIMONIAL CAUSES ACT

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Preliminary

   1   Short title

   2   Interpretation

   3   Supreme Court to have jurisdiction in matrimonial causes

 

Suits of Nullity of Marriage

   4   Grounds for pronouncing decrees of nullity of marriage

 

Suits for Dissolution of Marriage

   5   Dissolution of marriage

   6   Meaning of separation

   7   Effect of resumption of cohabitation

   8   Restriction on petitions during early years

   9   Proceedings for decree of presumption of death and dissolution of marriage

 

Injunctions or other Orders

   10   Court may grant injunctions or make other orders in relation to protection of parties, children or property, etc

 

Counselling and Reconciliation

   11   Conciliation

   12   Counselling

   13   Confidentiality of information given to marriage counsellors

   14   Obligation of marriage counsellors to maintain confidentiality

 

Grounds for jurisdiction of Court

   15   Grounds for jurisdiction of Court

 

Decree Nisi and Decree Absolute

   16   Decree Nisi in first instance

   17   Decree absolute

   18   Rescission of decree on reconciliation

   19   Rescission of decree for miscarriage of justice

 

Power of Court to Make Certain Financial Provisions

   20   Powers of Court to make provision for the spouse

   21   [Deleted by Act 30 of 2005 s 28(1)(a).]

   22   Supplementary provisions as to maintenance, settlement of property, etc

 

Dispositions and Orders Pending and after Suits

   23   Orders re custody, maintenance and education

 

Recognition of Foreign Decrees

   24   Recognition of foreign decrees

 

Ancillary Provisions

   25   [Deleted by Act 30 of 2005 s 28(1)(a).]

   26   Avoidance of transactions intended to prevent relief

   27   Restrictions on decrees for dissolution or nullity

   28   [Deleted by Act 30 of 2005 s 28(1)(a).]

   29   Power to provide for supervision of children

 

Practice and Procedure of Court

   30   Notice of petition

   31   Examination of petitioner

   32   Examination of witnesses

   33   Costs

 

Miscellaneous

   34   Domicile

   35   Abolition of decrees of judicial separation, restitution of conjugal rights and damages by a husband against adulterer

   36   Power of Minister to Amend Schedule

      SCHEDULE

 

THE MATRIMONIAL CAUSES ACT

[Date of Commencement: 1st February, 1989]

Acts
2 of 1989,
4 of 2004,
30 of 2005.

Preliminary

1   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Matrimonial Causes Act.

2   Interpretation

   In this Act-

   "adopted" means adopted in pursuance of an adoption order made under the Children (Adoption of) Act, or in pursuance of an adoption order made in a country other than Jamaica and recognised by the law of Jamaica as conferring upon the child in question, in relation to the child's custody, maintenance and education, the status of a child of the adopter or adopters;

   "appointed day" means 1st day of February, 1989;

   "approved marriage counsellor" means a person who has been approved as such pursuant to the provisions of the Schedule:

   "matrimonial causes" means-

   (a)   proceedings between the parties to a marriage for a decree of dissolution of marriage or nullity of marriage;

   (b)   proceedings for a declaration as to the validity of a marriage or of the dissolution or annulment of a marriage by decree or otherwise;

   (c)   proceedings for a decree of presumption of death and dissolution of marriage;

   (d)   proceedings between the parties to a marriage in respect of-

         (i)   the maintenance of one of the parties to the marriage, or

         (ii)   the custody, guardianship or maintenance of, or access to, a relevant child;

   (e)   applications for injunctions or other orders pursuant to section 10;

   (f)   any proceedings or applications ancillary to proceedings or applications (whether concurrent, pending or completed) referred to in paragraphs (a) to (e) of this definition;

   "relevant child'' means a child who is-

   (a)   a child of both parties to the marriage in question; or

   (b)   a child of one party to the marriage who has been accepted as one of the family by the other party, and in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this definition "child" includes adopted child and a child of a void marriage.

3   Supreme Court to have jurisdiction in matrimonial causes

   The Supreme Court (hereinafter referred to as "the Court") shall have and exercise, subject to the provisions of this Act, jurisdiction and power in relation to matrimonial causes instituted or continued under this Act.

Suits for Nullity of Marriage

4   Grounds for pronouncing decrees of nullity of marriage

   (1) Decrees of nullity of marriage may be pronounced by the Court on the ground that the marriage is void on any of the following grounds, that is to say-

   (a)   one of the parties to the marriage had a husband or wife living at the time of the marriage;

   (b)   the marriage was void under the provisions of the Marriage Act or any other laws relating to marriage in force for the time being in Jamaica;

   (c)   in the case of marriages celebrated on or after the 1st day of February, 1989, the consent of either of the parties to the marriage was not a valid consent because-

         (i)   it was obtained by duress or fraud; or

         (ii)   one party was mistaken as to the identity of the other party or as to the nature of the ceremony performed; or

         (iii)   one party was mentally incapable of understanding the nature and effect of the marriage ceremony at the time of the marriage; or

   (d)   the parties to the marriage were, at the time of the marriage, of the same sex.

   (2) For the purposes of this section marriage includes a purported marriage.

   (3) Nothing in this section shall be construed as validating any marriage which is by law void but with respect to which a decree of nullity has not been granted.

Suits for Dissolution of Marriage

5   Dissolution of marriage

   (1) A petition for a decree of dissolution of marriage may be presented to the Court by either party to a marriage on the ground that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.

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