Divorce and Separation

When a relationship breaks down, there are many things you can do. The most important is to keep on talking to your spouse, keep the channels of communication open, and try and avoid misunderstandings.

It can be helpful to seek advice from a family lawyer as soon as problems begin, to find out what your rights and responsibilities are, but be careful not to rush into legal proceedings too soon. You may be able to save the relationship.

When you do consult a lawyer, make sure you contact a lawyer who is experienced in family law. Lawyers who are members of Resolution, as we at Corbett Le Quesne are, are committed to dealing with cases in a constructive, conciliatory and amicable way, which is best for all concerned, particularly children.

There are several different ways you can get a divorce, some involving separation and some involving alleged fault, including adultery or your spouse’s behaviour. Divorces based on fault are usually only begun if you have not been separated for a year. Wherever possible it is better not to use a fault based ground as this can start matters off on the wrong foot and cause unnecessary upset. 

You can get a divorce based on having lived apart for a year if your spouse consents. If you have been separated for two years or more, then consent is not needed. Although it is possible to prepare your own divorce petition, it is sensible to seek legal advice. 

If there is no objection to the divorce from your spouse there will be no need for you to go to court. A judge will look at the paperwork and if they feel that you are entitled to a divorce, a decree nisi is granted. The divorce however does not become final until decree absolute has been applied for, which can be done 6 weeks after decree nisi has been granted. 

If everything runs smoothly, a divorce, without any applications about money or children, can take as little as 4 – 6 months to complete. However, if your spouse objects to the divorce, or you cannot agree about the children or a financial settlement, then things can take much longer.

We at Corbett Le Quesne can also advise on the recognition of foreign divorces in Jersey and where there are international aspects to the divorce. 

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