When a family relationship breaks down there are a number of matters to consider and arrangements to make. Here at Tremoceiro Advocates we will help you work through these issues and we will endeavour to secure an amicable resolution wherever possible.
We can advise upon the following:
(1.) Divorce (both defended and undefended) and judicial separation;
(2.) Financial settlements;
(3.) Spousal and child maintenance;
(4.) Parental responsibility, residence and contact issues with children;
(5.) Cohabitation, pre-nuptial and separation agreements;
(6.) Paternity issues;
(7.) Emergency remedies and injunctions;
(8.) Mediation; and
(9.) Public law matters relating to children.
All relationships have rockier periods, and we will always enquire of a client instructing us on a divorce matter if the marriage breakdown is irretrievable. If it is not, you may consider alternatives, like using a counselling service, such as is offered by Relate Jersey. Please see http://www.relatejersey.com for more information.
Under Jersey law you can only issue divorce proceedings once you have been married for at least three years, unless there are exceptional circumstances. This does not mean that action cannot be taken in the intervening period to safeguard the parties’ interests in the event of a separation (see below).
In order to start proceedings in the Jersey court, you must also show that you are domiciled in Jersey or have been residing here throughout the period of one year prior to the commencement of the proceedings.
Sadly, sometimes the relationship is beyond repair and a divorce is inevitable. To obtain a divorce in Jersey you must show that your marriage has broken down as a result of one or more of the following:
- Separation for one year (if your spouse agrees to a divorce);
- Separation for two years (your spouse’s agreement to a divorce is not required);
- Desertion for two years;
- Unreasonable behaviour;
- Unsoundness of mind and under care for a continuous period of 5 years ; and
- Imprisonment for life or for a term of more than 15 years
In order to file a divorce petition with the Royal Court we will need to provide your original marriage certificate. If you cannot locate the original, a copy can be obtained from the Registrar’s office, if your marriage was held in Jersey, for a small fee. Please see https://www.sthelier.je/births-marriages-and-deaths for more information.
Even if a divorce is not immediately available, much valuable work can be done in dealing with the consequences of separation, regarding children and financial matters. It may be possible to negotiate a separation agreement which will define the rights and duties of each spouse and can be ratified by the court when divorce proceedings are issued.
The breakdown of a marriage tends to cause upset and leave the parties more vulnerable and emotional at the precise time when a cool head is necessary to deal with the variety and complexity of issues that arise.
We understand your need not just for good legal and practical advice but also for a sensitive handling of such delicate issues.