Aruba Divorce Law: An Overview
Divorce can be a complex and emotionally charged process, so it is important to understand the Aruba divorce law well. In Aruba, divorce law is governed by the Civil Code, which provides guidelines on everything from the grounds for divorce to the division of property.
Grounds for Divorce
In Aruba, there is only one ground for divorce: irretrievable marriage breakdown. This means that the marriage has broken down to such an extent that there is no prospect of reconciliation. The term used in irreconcilable differences
These proceedings in Aruba are initiated by petitioning the Court of First Instance of Aruba. The petition must include a statement of the grounds for divorce and a request for the court to dissolve the marriage. If no minor children are involved, the petition generally does not need to include custody aspects. If the spouses have minor children, the petition must also include a parenting plan, which sets out arrangements for the care and upbringing of the children and the alimony requirements. Once the petition is filed, the court will send a copy to the other spouse, who can respond in person during a hearing. If the spouse agrees to the divorce and the parenting plan, the court will usually include that plan as part of the decision. At the hearing, the court will consider the evidence and hear arguments from both sides before deciding on the divorce and the custody and alimony aspects.
Division of Property
In Aruba, property acquired during the marriage is considered joint property, meaning it must be divided equally between the spouses upon divorce. This includes tangible assets such as real estate and personal possessions and intangible assets such as pensions and investments. If the spouses cannot agree on the division of property, the court will decide based on the principles of reasonableness and fairness. If a prenuptial agreement were validly made, any division would have to take the terms of the prenup into account.
The Code of Civil Proceedings of Aruba determines that divorce and legal separation matters, including any related requests for provisional measures or ancillary relief, shall be vested in the Court of First Instance of Aruba if at the time of filing the petition:
a. both spouses are Dutch nationals and have their domicile or habitual residence in Aruba, or if residing abroad, have last had their domicile or habitual residence in Aruba within the Kingdom, o
b. one of the spouses has had their domicile or habitual residence in Aruba for twelve months or, if they are a Dutch national, for six months.
If neither a. or b. are applicable, the Court will likely declare the petition inadmissible, and parties will have to file a petition with the court of their residence.
Divorce can be a complicated and emotional process, but understanding the basics of Aruba divorce law can help to make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible. By knowing the grounds for divorce, the divorce proceedings, and the rules for the division of property, spouses can better navigate this challenging time and move forward with their lives.