Collas Crill family lawyer Alison Brown looks at how Islanders
can get divorced.
Can I get a divorce?
Contrary to popular belief, you cannot obtain a divorce
'just because you want one'. Your circumstances will have
to provide one of the grounds for divorce set out in Jersey
What are the grounds for a divorce?
There are a number of grounds for divorce including
'unreasonable behaviour', which includes cruelty. However,
there are three common grounds on which you can apply for a
that your wife or husband has committed adultery and you find
it intolerable to live with them
that you have lived separately for one year and your wife or
husband will agree to a divorce
that you have lived separately for two years
How do I get a divorce?
A divorce starts with the filing of a divorce petition with the
Family Division of the Royal Court. There are detailed rules about
the contents of a petition, notifying the other party and other
procedural steps. If the court is satisfied that the grounds in the
divorce petition are established, a decree nisi is issued. This may
be made Absolute after six weeks and one day. You remain married
until the Decree Absolute.
Will the court sort out the money?
The court is able to, but will only become involved if one of
the parties makes a formal application. Once this has taken place
the court will manage the process, which will include disclosing
your true and complete financial situation. Questions can be raised
and must be answered. The court will then organise a hearing, when
it will decide how the available resources should be divided
between you both. The interests of any children will be of
considerable importance to the court when reaching its
Can we sort out the money ourselves?
The court and family lawyers encourage parties to negotiate and
agree matters between themselves if at all possible. It is
generally best to be involved in the decision, which leaves you
with some control over the outcome. A court may make an order that
neither you, nor your wife or husband, like.
Can I do my own divorce?
This is possible, however, the formalities are detailed and we
would strongly advise you to obtain legal advice.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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John F Kennedy was fond of saying that the "best time to mend a roof is when the sun is shining". This is good advice to follow in most parts of your life. Why put off until tomorrow things that you can do today.