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Baptiste v. Baptiste TT [1991] HC 1

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Baptiste v. Baptiste TT [1991] HC 1

 Case Name : Baptiste v. Baptiste TT [1991] HC 1

Judge: Sealey J

 Subject: Family Law

 Country: Trinidad and Tobago


In this case the petitioner alleged that she was forced to leave the matrimonial home with the two female children of the family ages 10 and 5 respectively on the 4th day of July 1990. The petitioner stated that she was no longer able to bear the severe physical and mental abuse she was made to suffer at the hand of the respondent. At the time of the hearing, the petitioner resided in the home of her mother. Due to limited space she and her daughters shared one bedroom. The petitioner contended that the respondent did not reside at the matrimonial home but at the home of a female friend at Diego Martin, and it was on this basis that she was petitioning the court to have the respondent excluded from the matrimonial home.

However it was the respondent’s claim that if an order were made to exclude him from the matrimonial home it would result in grave hardship to him as the matrimonial home was the only place in which he could live without discommoding others.



The Court looked to see whether the situation between the parties was impossible, and if it was then an exclusion order could be made.  Looking at the evidence before it, the court ruled that the accommodation in the matrimonial home was such that the parties could not conveniently be housed there together. The court took into account the fact that the petitioner was caring for the children and that their accommodations were inadequate. On that basis the needs of the mother and the minor children should take priority over the husband’s discomfort of having to leave home.

Consequently it was ordered that the respondent be excluded from the matrimonial home situate at Upper St. Francois Valley Road Extension, China Town, Belmont pending the hearing of the divorce petition or until further order, save and except the occasions when he goes to collect and return the children of the family in the exercise of his right to access.






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