Getting divorced is never easy.
Working out how to divide the home, assets and time with the children, when emotions are running high, can feel hugely overwhelming. Throw in lawyers, legal fees and a complicated legal process and it’s no wonder that divorce carries the reputation of being one of life’s most stressful events.
There are ways, however, to limit stress levels and costs.
Having helped clients navigate this difficult process for many years, creating a clear roadmap, with timeframes built in, can really help clients visualise how to move forward in a focused and sensible way.
Contact us to find out how we can help you navigate divorce more positively than you may expect.
If parties are legally unable or morally unprepared to formally dissolve their marriage but wish to make the financial arrangements legally binding (as opposed to recording them more informally in a Separation Agreement), Confidante can assist clients through judicial separation proceedings.
To get divorced in Jersey the law requires that the following are all satisfied;
i) you have been married for at least 3 years;
ii) you or your spouse is domiciled in Jersey or has been habitually resident in the Island for 12 months preceding the application;
iii) you have the original marriage certificate or a certified copy. If it is not in English, it will need to be translated); and
iv) you have ground of divorce (see answer in the FAQ on grounds for divorce).
If you can satisfy the above requirements, it is possible to issue divorce proceedings. Divorce procedures must also be adhered to (see answer in the FAQ on how to file for divorce in Jersey).
One of the following grounds of divorce must apply to progress divorce proceedings (and details of the ground will need to be set out in your divorce petition);
i) you have been separated for 1 or 2 years (however, you will need your spouse’s consent if you wish to proceed on the basis of separation for 1 year);
ii) your spouse has behaved unreasonably;
iii) your spouse has committed adultery;
iv) your spouse has deserted you for 2 years or more;
v) your spouse has been sent to prison for more than 15 years; or
vi) your spouse is incurably of unsound mind and has been receiving treatment for more than 5 years.
In a scenario where a separation ground does not apply, the most common ground is unreasonable behaviour because it means that the proceedings can be issued without delay.
A common worry is that unreasonable behaviour is a hostile ground and will make things difficult. However, divorce lawyers can help to take the hostility out of the situation.
If you want to get things moving without delay and unreasonable behaviour is the only available ground, speak to your divorce lawyer about the ways in which you can keep the temperature down.
Keeping yourself organised and on track throughout a divorce ensures the process will run as smoothly as possible. At Confidante, we provide our clients with as many complimentary tools we can to assist them through their journey.
Check out Checklist 3 “Ways to help your case in divorce proceedings” which you can use to guide you through some of the steps you should be considering.
Assuming that the requirements have been met (see answer in FAQ “Getting a divorce in Jersey”) it is necessary to follow the divorce procedure;
i) you or your lawyer will need to prepare your divorce petition and accompanying forms;
ii) you or your lawyer will need to send your divorce petition and accompany forms into the Judicial Greffe with the original marriage certificate (or certified copy) and Court processing fee;
iii) once the papers have been processed, they will need to be served on your spouse;
iv) your spouse will need to complete the acknowledgement of service and form relating to the children (if applicable) within 8 days (if they are in Jersey) and return these forms to the Judicial Greffe;
v) you will need to complete, and file with the Judicial Greffe, an Affidavit and form 20 (if your divorce petition is not contested by your spouse) by the deadline as provided by the Judicial Greffe;
vi) if the Court is satisfied that the contents of the petition have been sufficiently proved, the Decree Nisi certificate will be granted;
vii) 6 weeks after the date of the Decree Nisi certificate, the party petitioning for divorce can apply for the Decree Absolute (the final certificate in the divorce process which legally dissolves the marriage). Although it is usual to wait until the finances have been resolved before applying for Decree Absolute.
Assuming that the requirements have been met to issue divorce proceedings and the divorce petition is not contested by your spouse, it is possible to get divorced in approximately 10 weeks. However, this estimate is linked to the divorce process itself and excludes the financial aspect of the case which often creates delay.
Lawyers will often advise clients to delay the application for Decree Absolute (the final certificate in the divorce process which legally dissolves the marriage) until after the finances have been agreed in a Consent Order and approved by the Registrar of the Family Division.