Family law Q&A roundup

Q&A: Ask the Experts - HSM Chambers

Shaun McCann and Louise Desrosiers, from Travers, Thorp, Alberga, recently joined the Cayman Compass for an Ask the Experts question-and-answer event focussed on family law in the Cayman Islands.

Click here to check out the full Q&A.

Here are some of the questions and answers that came out of the chat:

Q: With the court system needing to change its processes due to the hard/soft curfew in place, are couples wishing to file for a divorce able to do so right now? If so, how would they go about doing that?
A: New Practice Directions have been provided by the Family Courts. To continue to provide access to justice during this time, the Courts are using technology as much as possible. While seeking to comply with the Court Rules for filing documents already the Courts have introduced a form of e-filing by way of emails. You can contact the family court via email, who can help you to progress your case electronically. You will not be prevented from issuing a petition. All court users are encouraged to visit the page www.judicial.ky or users may contact the Grand Court Family Division by email at [email protected] or telephone 244-3883 for relevant information.
Q: We are a split parent family without a formal agreement. Can they visit their father?
A: The short answer is yes. There is a more detailed response to this question at https://www.caymancompass.com/2020/04/09/guest-column-curfew-regulations-explained-for-separated-parents-children/. When arranging drop off and pick up, please be mindful to observe the soft and hard curfew laws, which can change.  Do keep an eye on any announcements made daily by the government.
Q: I’m in an abusive relationship. Do I have to remain in my home during the restrictions?
A: You should seek help immediately if you are in a difficult or dangerous situation. If the situation is dangerous, contact the police who will help you at any time, including during the strictest Curfew Restrictions.
If you do not feel it is appropriate to call the police, the Crisis Intervention Centre usually provides walk-in service for crisis intervention and assessment of victims of family violence to ensure appropriate referrals to community resources, and emotional support and guidance to victims through various stages. This service is still available by telephone and online and details can be found here: https://www.dcs.gov.ky/frc/family-resource-centre-crisis-intervention
Q: I have joint residency of my two boys. I know drop-offs and pick-ups are deemed essential. However, does this mean this can be done on any day of the week with the exception of Sunday’s or just on our letter day?
A: As the Regulations currently stand; any day of the week, save for during strict Curfew hours.  That is Sunday and evenings/early mornings at the moment. But do keep an eye on any updates as the situation is changing daily. But the A, B, C Restrictions you refer to don’t apply to contact handover at present in the same way they do to visits to the supermarket. If you have a Court Order in place, although not essential, it might be useful to always carry a copy with you, even as a picture on your phone, when conducting pick ups/drop offs.

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