The month of October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. With recent reports of heinous crimes among partners, it’s timely for us to examine possible legal measures to mitigate and prevent domestic violence. As such, we will review what is a “Protection Order”, and how it can be utilized in circumstances of domestic violence.
There are several reasons one may desire to have a name change. These include restoring a family surname that has been changed in the past, to change the spelling of your name or simply because you dislike your current name. To have this name change legally recorded, a Deed Poll will be required.
A Deed Poll is a legal document that allows an individual to assume a new name and provides documentary evidence of the name change. You can contact an Attorney-at-Law to draft this document on your behalf.
The Deed Poll is required to get all your documents and records (e.g. bank accounts, passport, driver’s licence) changed to reflect your new name. Persons over the age of 18 years can conduct a deed poll on their own behalf. For minors, a deed poll can be done if both parents give the consent to do so.
5 steps to obtaining a deed poll:
- You will need a certified copy of your birth certificate and/or marriage certificate and a valid photo identification.
- Visit your Lawyer to have the Deed Poll drafted and this is to be signed before a Justice of the Peace (JP).
- The Deed Poll is required to be stamped at the Stamp Duty and Transfer Tax Department.
- The document is then submitted to the Registrar General Department for recording which takes 3-30 business days (depending on the service that is paid for).
- You will then receive a certified document recording the name change, with your birth certificate attached.
It is important to keep your Deed Poll safe because if you need to prove your identity in the future, for example, you want to get married or apply for a passport, you will need to produce your Deed Poll together with your birth certificate.
Abi-Gaye White-Thomas B.A., LL.B (Hons)
A common-law relationship is possibly the most prevalent form of committed relationship in Jamaica. Many individuals opt out of walking down the aisle to marry their significant other because of fear of commitment yet their day-to-day activities is similar and in likeness to that of a married couple. The main fear indicated by many is the thought that if they live together and eventually separate, there will be no need for division of property. This is a common misconception as there are laws to protect parties who have been in a common law union.
Section 2 of The Property (Rights of Spouses) Act defines “spouse” as including a single man and a single woman who have been cohabiting together as if they were in law husband and wife for no less than five years. The term ‘cohabit’ is defined as meaning, ‘to live together in a conjugal relationship outside of marriage’.