Wednesday, December 14, 2016

St. Kitts & Nevis Divorce Jurisdiction

Pursuant to Section 3 of the Divorce Act 2005 of St. Kitts and Nevis, “The Court may hear and determine any Divorce proceedings if either spouse has been ordinarily resident in Saint Christopher and Nevis; for at least one year immediately preceding the commencement of the Divorce proceedings.”

The phrase “ordinary resident” has been interpreted by the High Court of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court in accordance with the  definition in Halsbury’s Laws of England as meaning, “residence adopted voluntarily and for a settled purpose as part of the regular order of life for the time being as opposed to such resident as is casual temporary or unusual.” Saxena v. Saxena, 2015.

The courts have the power to stay a divorce case on the grounds of forum non conveniens but only if the applicant adduces evidence that establishes that another available forum is clearly or distinctly available,  is more appropriate, and is the forum “with which the action has the most real and substantial connection.” Saxena v. Saxena, 2015.