Wanting to move to the DR Advice needed


New member
Jun 16, 2004

My husband and myself are from the uk we have four children and are planning on moving to the DR. kids ages 11,9,7,1

I am currently studying for my english kaw degree, my husband has a degree in web design and wishes to start his own business or work for a company. I want to practice law.

Does anyone have any advice regarding jobs etc, also how i would go about practicing law in the DR.

Also schools, buying a property or renting. And also how much money we would need to start up with.
Any advice would be brill.


May 3, 2002
On the English Law Degree....you will have to wait for Hillbilly to answer that one as he is a master on the subject of education.

You can search through previous messages and find all the other info. you are looking for. It has been covered several times before.


Jan 1, 2002
English Law is not practiced here

If you have gone to that thread, you will have learned that the Dominican legal system is based on the Napoleonic Code and therefore English Common Law is usless, except for English people that might consult you about things like immigrations and so forth.

Sorry, but you had better do a lot more research before hauling four children into this new land..



Jan 1, 2002
Hillbilly said:
If you have gone to that thread, you will have learned that the Dominican legal system is based on the Napoleonic Code and therefore English Common Law is usless, except for English people that might consult you about things like immigrations and so forth.

Sorry, but you had better do a lot more research before hauling four children into this new land..

Totally agree with HB on this, ....... A LOT more time checking the country out is required. Not too many people operate 'English Only' companies so how is your Spanish as this will be the MAIN language you will have to do business in?

Just as starters, putting your 3 elder children through school will cost you in excess of US $20,000 per year, Renting a 4 bedroomed house would be in excess of US $800 per month, Food - US $500, clothing - US $200, Electricity - US $400, propane gas - US $10, petrol - US $200, Insurance for belongings US $150, Car insurance - US $60, Health insurance - US $80, unexpected/immergency fund - US $200.

I would suggest that all of above are MINIMUM costs but you can see that your monthly outgoings are going to be in excess of US $4,300 = RD $129,000. The best your husband would be likely to earn in the short term would be RD $50,000 per month & if YOU were able to get a job with a law company out here, perhaps you could add another RD $20,000 to the family budget!! Net loss per month ........ RD $59,000 (US $2,000 mas o menos).

I don't want to be a party pooper, but unless you want to burn a BIG hole in your capital from selling up in the UK, then coming out here with 4 children is NOT a good idea. Would it not be a more sensible idea to delay your relocation until at least the oldest two have progressed through school in the UK & are out earning themselves a living? Talking of whom, how do THEY feel about moving out here & having to start friendships anew?? (I don't need an answer to that really, just wonder if you have all sat down & talked through this whole moving idea "As a Family" & with the full knowledge of what the ramifications are likely to be!!).

I've gone on far longer than I originally intended to but I hope you begin to see some of the problems that await you. If you FEEL like making direct contact, then feel free to PM or e-mail me. Better still, if you are coming over for another holiday to do more investigations, then give me a call when you are here, if you are coming to the North Coast!! You don't actually state where you intend relocating to in the DR - have you made that decision??.

Best of luck with all the research you are about to begin with ~ Grahame.

Keith R

"Believe it!"
Jan 1, 2002
Please, think long and hard about the children angle. Do you wish to send them to university? If so, would you be content with the universities in the DR? Check them out before answering, please. I did and decided not for my young twins. And once we decided that we wanted to send them to university outside the DR -- in our case, the US -- we realized that we should return them to the US school system. Yes, there are decent middle and high schools in the DR, but they cost alot, whereas back in Fairfax County Virginia we could get good or better free....

Grahame, HB and Ken are spot-on about the difficulty of you finding any meaningful work as a lawyer in the DR. You would probably have to read law in the DR first. And definitely have not just good Spanish, but good legal Spanish (which many schools outside Spanish-speaking nations don't teach)...

I think Grahame's (Bushbaby) figures on your husband's possible initial months earnings may be conservative -- if he already has experience and a rep and clientele and is a go-getter, he might be able to do better.

But, as someone who tried for four years to conduct his consulting/writing business by internet, phone and fax from the DR, let me advise him that there are drawbacks to doing it in the DR. As HB says, it can be done, but it's not as easy as one might suppose. For example, on the expense side, if you live by the computer, you must, repeat, must, invest in a a good back-up, an inverter and very good surge protection for both electrical and phone lines. You also should join a mail service such as Business Mail or EPS. Another: there are potential clients in major markets (North America, Europe) in some professions that are more skeptical of hiring you if you are based in a third world country, so you will have to go the extra mile in marketing time and expense...

Neither Grahame nor HB have mentioned a big issue for someone with kids your age: a maid/nanny. If you both are going to work, you'll need one. The DR is not set up to be convenient for a two-wage earner family. The expense of having a maid/nanny may not seem high, but it's not the only consideration. You have to find one competent, and one you can trust leaving your kids with -- not as easy as it sounds! Take it from someone who went through 8 of them in just one year, until we found the right one! And my wife is Dominican and we had Dominican friends and family trying to help us find a suitable maid!

This may be stuff you don't want to hear, but you should, so that when you made your decision, you do so fully informed and factoring these things into it.

Good luck to you!

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Stay Frosty!
Jan 2, 1999
becky27 said:
my husband has a degree in web design and wishes to start his own business or work for a company.
Send me a link to his portfolio.

The max he will earn here doing web design is RD$15-30,000 unless he is exceptional. The exceptional ones tend to have their own businesses.

Saying that, I have yet to find an exceptional web designer in the DR. All our client work we outsource to Miami for this very reason.

You are going to need very deep pockets!


New member
Jun 16, 2004
re: thanks and answers to some questions

I just want to say thank you to all who have given their advice. I understand that it will be hard and expensive. One reason why i joined this forum, was to get realistic advice from people who know. Not just general information that i would get from official websites.

We as a family have thought hard about this move and after having links and my children being content to spend long periods of time in Uganda (not as tourists), i feel that we are slightly more prepared as a family to relocate than if we were only used to the uk's way of living.

I have taken note of all that has been said about practicing law and i am prepared to try and get a job in the travel industry which i am more than qualified to do. To bring in the funds whilst i study the law.

We have travled to the east of the country and that is where we are looking at, but we are planning another trip in a few months to have a look at other areas. Any advice?

Schooling for my eldest will not be a problem, he is going to a boarding school this year. He will only be joining us in the holidays.

i understand peoples concerns regarding the children and uprooting them to the DR but we are looking for a better way of life. Those reading this from the UK may understand where i am comming from.

So thanks again for your advice and please keep posting.


Oct 21, 2002
Seems like the best advice I can give you, is to speak to many many people when you come for your next visit. I for one would be happy to meet over a coffee and tell you what I know. My experience is North Coast up to Santiago. Santo Domingo just for fun. Go well and good luck with the plans! Send me a pm if you'd like to chat.


New member
Sep 1, 2004
Hi becky27, just reading your thread and had a few thoughts. I was a lawyer in NY and moved here last september, with my wife and kids ages 5,6. We've never been better, the kids are having a great time and things are just falling into place. As with any move, you never know how it's gonna be until you do it, and then it takes a little time to settle in. No matter where you live money is always something you gotta get, but I think the expenses of living here have been a little exaggerated. there are plenty of poor, and middle class people here who don't make that much and somehow you get by and adjust to having what you can afford. Not a bad lesson for kids to learn, that sometimes money keeps you from getting all the toys and trips to mcdonalds you might desire. You'll learn to use less hot water, and that AC is a luxury. As far as practicing law here goes; it will take some time to transtion to that one. I know a few lawyers here, and have had a few interactions with the system. It's a world away from what I'm used to. You gotta know the system, the laws, the language, and of course the people. That could take the better part of a decade, and I'm not so sure the rewards of practing law here are as great as they were back in NY. For now I found a full-time job teaching English, which I really enjoy, and with enough hours pays alot of the bills. I hear the resorts pay well, and your education will not be wasted whatever you end up doing. Network, meet new friends. Keep in touch with DR1ers, who reach out to you, they're a great bunch with lots of experience, knowledge of the DR, and they speak english, which I find to be extremely valuable. Make no mistake this is a Spanish speaking Country, not at all bilingual. Good Luck with the move.


Jan 1, 2002
Becky, there are many of us on the board who, like Chris, would be pleased to help you any way we can if you make the big move.

Once you decide where you are going to locate, then those who are in that area can identify themselves.

Like Chris, I'm on the North Coast.