Frustration with delays in the Court system is something which many clients may face, often having the frustration of having to wait several weeks and sometimes months for Court time to become available.
It is therefore worth sparing a thought for the unfortunate Mr and Mrs Ramnarine, whose Financial Proceedings took 16 years to complete in the courts of Trinidad and Tobago, before being disposed of finally by the Privy Council in the last few weeks.
The original financial proceedings arising from the Divorce first started in 1997, but the final hearing was not then heard until 2001. It was then another 4 years before the Judge delivered his decision to the parties, and almost another 2 years before the official written judgment was handed down. Mrs Ramnarine wanted to appeal the original decision, and lodged her appeal after the written judgment was made available, further long delays then followed, meaning the matter was not determined until earlier this year – 16 years after the initial application started.
The significant delay in waiting for court time is one of the factors which is worth taking into account when considering what method to use to reach a financial settlement, with some couples opting into Family Mediation, Collaborative Law or arbitration in order to guarantee shorter waiting times. Whilst these options are not right for everyone, and some cases will always need the input of a Judge, it is always worth looking at all possible options before issuing a court application.