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Bahamas Divorce - Finance

FINANCIAL ASPECTS OF DIVORCE IN THE BAHAMAS

The financial aspects of a divorce in The Bahamas are set forth primarily in Section 29 of the Bahamas Matrimonial Causes Act (see below).

It is important to note that the ultimate court of appeal for The Bahamas is the (English) Privy Council. In practice the courts in The Bahamas will follow English law closely and are expected to follow English precedents.

"29. (1) It shall be the duty of the court in deciding whether to exercise its powers under section 25(3) or 27(1)(a), (b) or (c) or 28 in relation to a party to a marriage and, if so, in what manner, to have regard to all the circumstances of the case including the following matters that is to say –

 (a)    the income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;

(b)   the financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;

(c)    the standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage’

(d)   the age of each party to the marriage and the duration of the marriage;

(e)    any physical or mental disability of either of the parties to the marriage;

(f)    the contribution made by each of the parties to the welfare of the family, including any contribution made by looking after the home or caring for the family;

(g)   in the case of proceedings for divorce or nullity of marriage, the value to either of the parties to the marriage of any benefit (for example, a pension) which, by reason of the dissolution or annulment of the marriage, that party will lose the chance of acquiring;

and so to exercise those powers as to place the parties, so far as it is practicable and, having regard to their conduct, just to do so, in the financial position in which they would have been if the marriage had not broken down and each had properly discharged his or her financial obligations and responsibilities towards the other.

 (2) Without prejudice to subsection (3) it shall be the duty of the court in deciding whether to exercise its powers under section 27(1)(d), (e) or (f), (2) or (4) or 28 in relation to a child of the family and, if so, in what manner, to have regard to all the circumstances of the case including the following matters that is to say –

(a) the financial needs of the child;

(b) the income, earning capacity (if any), property and other financial resources of the child;

(c) any physical or mental disability of the child;

(d) the standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage;

(e) the manner in which he was being and in which the parties to the marriage expected him to be educated or trained;

and so to exercise those powers as to place the child, so far as it is practicable and, having regard to the considerations mentioned in relation to the parties to the marriage in paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (1) just to do so, in the financial position in which the child would have been if the marriage had not broken down and each of those parties had properly discharged his or her financial obligations and responsibilities towards him.

 (3) It shall be the duty of the court in deciding whether to exercise its powers under section 27(1)(d), (e) or (f), (2) or (4) or 28 against a party to a marriage in favor of a child of the family who is not the child of that party and, if so, in what manner, to have regard (among the circumstances of the case)  –

            (a) to whether that party had assumed any responsibility for the child’s maintenance and, if so, to the extent to which, and the basis upon which, that party assumed such responsibility and to the length of time for which that party discharged such responsibility;

            (b) to whether in assuming and discharging such responsibility that party did so knowing that the child was no his or her own;

            (c) to the liability of any other person to maintain the child.

(4) Where a party to a marriage has a beneficial interest in any property, or in the proceeds of sale thereof, and some other person who is not a party to the marriage also has a beneficial interest in that property or in the proceeds of sale thereof, then, before deciding whether to make an order under section 25(3) in relation to that property, it shall be the duty of the court  to give that other person an opportunity to make representations with respect to the order; and any representations made by that other person shall be included among the circumstances to which the court is required to have regard under this section.

(5) Without prejudice to subsection (1) where the court grants a divorce on the basis of the ground specified in section 16(1)(d) the court, in exercising the powers referred to in subsection (1), shall have particular regard to the conduct of the petitioner where the evidence discloses that but  for the misconduct of the petitioner the parties would not have lived separate and apart."

 

 

Information on Bahamas Family Law:
The financial aspects of a divorce in The Bahamas are set forth primarily  continue

The Office of Children’s Issues of the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, has recently released the annual report on Hague Convention compliance  continue

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