Ex-wife refuses to share divorce documents

All Woman

Dear Mrs Macaulay,
My ex-wife divorced me in Florida. I didn't receive any documents to sign, and she has refused to send me a copy of the decree absolute. Now I want to get remarried and I am stuck at one place. I can't get any advice from the Supreme Court. I don't have a visa to travel to Florida. Can you please advise me on the way forward?

It seems to me that you cannot really say for certain that your ex-wife did indeed divorce you in Florida. You say you received no documents and she has refused to send you a copy of the decree absolute. The whole thing seems questionable, to say the least. If she did indeed successfully obtain a divorce, surely it is a very small thing for her to even photocopy her copy of the absolute and send it to you.

Anyway, the Supreme Court in Jamaica cannot help you out of your dilemma; you have to be proactive yourself.

I hope you know where your ex-wife was residing in Florida when she allegedly applied for the divorce because with this you can try to identify the court she used. When you do this, you can then find the contact particulars of the court and you can either contact the senior judge's clerk online or by telephone and request their assistance to search for your ex-wife's petition case file, and for them to send you a certified copy. This is what you need to actually prove that you are in fact a divorced man. You would have to pay the costs for the searches and for the certified copy and the postage to you.

With her address you can Google the county court which serves her area, for its address, phone numbers and e-mail address and make contact.

If you do not know her address, then you will have to investigate this further because what you need is to identify the court which handled her petition. The fact that you did not receive any documents to sign makes me think that she must have had someone else sign for you and she may be worried that this will be discovered and she would be in serious trouble.

You can also, if you know her address, ask the US Embassy in Jamaica, the legal officer preferably, to assist you to contact the court and get a certified copy of the absolute.

These are the only avenues I can think of for you to be able to get the document, short of hiring a lawyer there to do it for you.

Do try anyway and I wish you luck and the very best.

Margarette May Macaulay is an attorney-at-law, Supreme Court mediator, notary public, and women's and children's rights advocate. Send questions via e-mail to allwoman@jamaicaobserver.com; or write to All Woman, 40-42 1/2 Beechwood Avenue, Kingston 5. All responses are published. Mrs Macaulay cannot provide personal responses.

DISCLAIMER:

The contents of this article are for informational purposes only, and must not be relied upon as an alternative to legal advice from your own attorney.

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