The Matrimonial Causes Rules 2023 are a set of regulations that govern the process of handling matrimonial cases in Bermuda. These rules are designed to ensure that cases involving marriage and family disputes are dealt with efficiently and fairly.
On 2 March 2022, the Senate passed legislation aimed at reducing the stress and cost of obtaining a divorce by introducing “no-fault divorce” to Bermuda. This legislation will be the first of a raft of reforms that aim to modernise Bermuda’s current legislation, which is now almost 50 years old. Under the revised time periods, an application for divorce will take a minimum of twenty (20) weeks, which equates to five (5) months, to obtain a final divorce order from the courts. Applicants seeking nullity of marriage will have between four (4) and twelve (12) week time period before a nullity of marriage order is made final.
The Matrimonial Causes Rules 2023 cover a wide range of issues related to matrimonial cases, including divorce, nullity, judicial separation, and other family law matters. They set out the procedures for making applications to the court, the evidence required, and the process for responding to applications. A key feature of the Matrimonial Causes Rules 2023 include a simplified divorce process. Reducing the legal and procedural complexities directly translates into a reduction in legal costs for parties, and simplifies the process for ‘litigants-in-person’ who may not be able to afford legal representation. Such savings may then be used towards sustaining the family members and children in the post-divorce environment.
Persons utilising any of the Forms (below) are strongly advised to take legal advice from a qualified attorney. The Forms (below) are to be read along with the Matrimonial Causes Rules 2023 and the Matrimonial Causes Act 1974 (as Consolidated).
Form 1 - Notice Of Application Under Rule 4
Form 2 - General Form Of Application For Divorce [nullity Of Marriage Or Judicial Separation]
Form 3 - Certificate With Regard To Reconciliation
Form 4 - Statement As To Arrangements For Children
Form 5 - Notice Of Discontinuance
Form 6 - Notice Of Proceedings
Form 7 - Acknowledgement Of Service
Form 8 - Affidavit By Applicant In Support Of Application For A Divorce Under Section 5(2) Of Matrimonial Causes Act 1974
Form 9 - Affidavit Verifying Application
Form 10 - Request For Directions For Trial
Form 11 - Notice Of Application For A Conditional Order To Be Made Final
Form 12 - Certificate Of Making Conditional Order Final(Divorce)
Form 13 - Certificate Of Making Conditional Order Final(Nullity)
Form 14 - Notice Of Application For Ancillary Relief
Form 15 - Notice Of Application Under Rule 39
Form 16 - Notice Of Intention To Proceed With Application For Ancillary Relief
Form 17 - Notice Of Allegation In Proceedings For Ancillary Relief
Form 18 - Notice Of Request For Periodical Payments Order At Same Rate As Order For Maintenance Pending Suit
Form 19 - Originating Summons On Ground Of Wilful Neglect To Maintain
Form 20 - Originating Summons For Alteration Of Maintenance Agreement During Parties Lifetime
Form 21 - Originating Summons For Alteration Of Maintenance Agreement After Death Of One Of The Parties
Form 22 Originating Summons For Maintenance Out Of Estate Of Deceased Former Spouse
Form 23 Notice To Be Indorsed On Document Served In Accordance With Rule 78(1)