During a Divorce, there are several important issues that you need to know:
Custody is the right to look after a child’s welfare and physically take care of its concerns. Children below seven (7) years old are presumed to be better off with their mother, unless she is proven to be unfit. The older children’s wishes may be considered if the court feels they are mature enough to understand the implications of their decision.
When looking into the well-being of your children, the Court may consider:
If you gain custody of your children you will have to allow your husband reasonable access to them, and vice versa. Alternatively you and your husband may opt to make fixed arrangements or have joint custody.
Guardianship means the legal rights over your children. You and your husband have equal guardianship rights. This means either one of you can apply for the identity cards, passports, and schools for children.
NOTE: Children above 18 years old are considered adults.
This is a monetary support you and your children may get from your husband. You can apply for maintenance before your divorce has been finalized.
Note: At the time of your divorce, if your husband is physical or mentally incapacitated and cannot earn living, you may have to pay him maintenance
(a) In deciding the amount of maintenance to be ordered, the Court will consider the future and present income, property resources, and earning capacity of both parties. The financial needs and degree of responsibility which the Court apportions to each party for the breakdown of marriage will be the deciding factors for the maintenance.
(b) The Court may also order the person liable to pay maintenance to provide security to guarantee payment of such maintenance.
(c) An order for maintenance shall cease to expire if the divorced spouse in whose favour the order was made remarries or lives in adultery with any other person.
Children from this marriage can also apply for maintenance. These are factors will be considered:
Currently the order for maintenance expires when the child attains eighteen (18) years of age.
Where a husband fails to comply with the court order for maintenance, the court may levy a fine or sentence the husband to imprisonment for a maximum term of one month for each month’s allowance that remains unpaid.
The Court may, at any time and from time to time, vary or rescind any order for maintenance upon application by either party where it is not reasonable or satisfactory because that the order was based on misrepresentation, mistake of fact, or where there has been any material change, for example, the earning capacity, health condition, or remarriage of either party.
Matrimonial assets are assets both parties acquire during marriage. In this situation the Court will normally order a sale of the property and divide the proceeds of the sale between the parties. The Court will also take into consideration the following when making the order:
Where the asset is acquired by the sole effort of one party only, the Court shall consider the following facts in dividing assets: