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Bogus divorces — decree absolute, nisi or no sah?

Friday, August 23, 2019

Dear Editor,

On my first visit to the US, ages ago, while in the immigration line, a fellow Jamaican behind me asked me, “Bredrin, weh di road deh?” I had no clue and told him so, but asked him why he needed to know.

He said his visa was bogus. Then he said to me, “ Yuh see no step nearby?”

Both of my eyes were working then, so I pointed to a step nearby and he bid me goodbye.

As he made to leave I asked him what would happen to his luggage. He hissed his teeth, muttered a mild expletive, and walked off.

I am clueless about his fate.

There are folk in marriages who, for years, have been looking for a road out. Imagine the “hell and powder house” when, after scraping up or borrowing the money to pay for the divorce, you hear from the shout that the papers are bogus! Worse, you are now remarried! What does one do in such a crisis?

It's crazier for any Christian caught in such a dilemma. It's bedlam if you are a member of a church that barely allows you to become a member if you are divorced (and the so-called innocent party). In some such you can't hold any [elected] office at all. In yet other churches, once you are divorced and remarried you will have to “hold your position” as a visitor, but membership is out!

From a strictly legal position, though, who is to blame and why would a couple be put in marital/sexual jeopardy because our legal system is not corruption-proof? Seriously, why?

So, the hapless couple will end up not with a bona fide decree absolute or decree nisi, but a decree no sah!


Rev Clinton Chisholm