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Jan 19, 2018

Court’s Ex Parte Order Separates Mom, Daughter

Marjorie Vasquez

A six-year-old girl and her mother were separated by police on Thursday afternoon after the Belize Family Court granted an interim order of custody to the child’s father. The case was heard ex parte just hours after an adjournment had been granted due to short notice of the summons to court which the mother only received on Tuesday of this week, giving her just enough time to get an attorney. Family member and Justice of the Peace Marjorie Vasquez spoke to News Five on the advice of attorney Audrey Matura. Because the matter is ongoing legally we will not name any of the persons involved aside from Vasquez.


Marjorie Vasquez, Family Member

“First, what happened was there was a back and forth because Magistrate Grant and Magistrate Carter both did not want to hear the case, because they know the parties involved, the other half. And her lawyer was asking for an adjournment. After being there up until a couple minutes to eleven, the case was adjourned. So the lawyer provided the dates that she had in February when she could do the case. What happened was that the summons was not served until the sixteenth, which was Tuesday, even though it was taken out from November. I took my daughter to the lawyer the same day and that was why she was asking for an adjournment because it was short notice. Lo and behold, about after three, police appeared at my mom’s house where my daughter was, with this order that full custody has been granted to her ex-boyfriend. Now, I’m shocked, because I don’t understand how that happened.”


According to Vasquez, the father sought custody on the basis that the child’s mother is unfit. The order was granted pursuant to Section eighty-five of the Families and Children’s Act, which allows a father of a child born to a single woman to apply for right of access or legal custody of a child under eighteen and residing in the same district. The court must satisfy itself that its decision and the application are in the best interest of the child in question.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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