Belize Divorce Law
Jeremy D. Morley
The Supreme Court of Belize in Vidrine v. Vidrine, A.D. 2003 set forth a definitive ruling as to the sharing of matrimonial assets between spouses upon a divorce in Belize.
The Court applied Section 148A of the Supreme Court of Judicature (Amendment) Act, No. 8 of 2001 and Section 16 of the Married Women’s Property Act, Chapter 176 of the Laws of Belize, 2000 in light if English case law that has modified the English law of the appropriate standard for the division of matrimonial assets upon a divorce.
The Court held that “Parliament has expanded the powers of the Supreme Court and given it the flexibility to make fair, just and equitable financial provisions for spouses on the breakdown of their marriage. This power with its accompanying flexibility is to be exercised fairly, justly and equitably, having regard to the facts of a particular case and any other fact or circumstances which in the opinion of the Court, the justice of the case requires to be taken into account.”
In essence the Belize court in the Vedrine case adopted the English law as set forth by the House of Lords in White v. White and its progeny and on the facts of the particular case it provided for equality of division between the spouses with a departure from that yardstick only to account for the fact that certain property had been inherited by the husband.