AKWESASNE – In accordance with the tribal referendum held in 2005 and Tribal Council Resolution (TCR) 2007-01 that established the authority of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Court, the Tribal Council has adopted the Marriage, Divorce, and Custody Code; titled “Tenkwahswanón:na” through TCR 2022-58.
The Code’s adoption follows informational sessions that were conducted by the Tribal Court in 2021 on December 1st and 15th. The information sessions were accompanied with a 30-day comment period. Due to the number of revisions made to the initial draft, another opportunity was provided for tribal membership to give input, with a second 30-day comment period that ended on Seskehkó:wa/September 30, 2022.
The purpose of the Marriage, Divorce, and Custody Code “is to promote the health, safety, and general welfare of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe by codifying a uniform, efficient and equitable process and procedure governing marriage, dissolution of marriage, and ensuring custody matters involving children are handled quickly and in the children’s best interest.”
The Code authorizes the Tribal Court to exercise subject matter jurisdiction over divorce and custody matters and provides the authority to the Court to issue marriage licenses. At this time, the Court has jurisdiction over matters involving child support pursuant to the Tribe’s Family Support Act adopted by TCR 2013-57; which was amended by TCR 2014-05, TCR 2016-92, and TCR 2019-49.
A copy of the Marriage, Divorce, and Custody Code is available on the Tribal Members Portal that can be accessed from the Tribe’s website. All questions involving these types of cases and how to file must be directed to the Court Clerks at the Tribal Court. The Court Clerks may be contacted at (518) 358-6300 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., or by email at email@example.com.