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Divorcees now have three years to claim property division

Late APNU Parliamentarian, Debra Backer who had sponsored an amendment to the Married Persons Property Act

Divorcees can now speedily seek redress of the court for the division of property within three years of the annulment of their marriage.

The National Assembly unanimously approved the Married Persons Property (Amendment) Bill 2013 that was sponsored by the late parliamentarian for A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), Deborah Backer.  Her colleague, Volda Lawrence, kicked off debate on the amendment.

Attorney General, Anil Nandlall and Alliance For Change (AFC) parliamentarian, Moses Nagamootoo told the House that in the absence of the Backer Amendment, divorcees had to endure a prolonged process often by an endorsement of claim that can take several years.

“Within three years of the divorce being pronounced you can take advantage of the Act and go to court under the procedure in the course of marriage and have the award made quickly,” said Nagamootoo.

Nandlall interpreted the Backer Amendment to mean that it did not prevent divorcees from seeking division of cash, real or immovable property from their joint efforts even after three years under the protracted summary process.

Already, the Married Persons Property Act has been amended to create a level playing field for common law unions for five or more years to have the same entitlements as those enjoyed by married persons.

Under the law, a divorcee of who worked and contributed to the marriage are entitled to 50 percent but if or she did not work was entitled to one-third.