Petitioner – The person who instigates the divorce by way of a divorce petition.
Respondent – The other spouse who receives the divorce petition.
Co-Respondent – The 3rd party in an adultery divorce petition.
Defended petition – Where one party objects to the contents of the divorce petition.
Greffier’s certificate – The stage prior to decree nisi.
Decree Nisi – The 1st stage of the divorce process.
Decree Absolute – The 2nd and final stage of the divorce process that ends the marriage.
Judicial Separation – Similar to a divorce but it does not end the marriage. Can be useful in the first 3 years of marriage or where there is a religious objection to divorce.
Pre-Nuptial Agreement – An agreement entered into prior to the marriage dealing with the division of assets if a divorce occurs in the future.
Post-Nuptial Agreement – An agreement as to the division of assets that is made during the marriage.
Separation Agreement – An agreement between the spouses dealing with the financial assets prior to divorce proceedings.
Ancillary Relief – Financial claims made to the court within divorce proceedings. Often also called financial relief.
Financial Disclosure – Where the parties need to disclose all their assets and provide all the necessary financial evidence.
Affidavit of Means – The document that is completed showing all the assets, liabilities and needs of the parties and any children.
Financial Questionnaire – A document where questions are asked about the disclosure made by each party.
Form 16 Summons – The application to the court for financial relief.
MPS (Maintenance Pending Suit) – Preliminary hearing before the court to deal with immediate financial issues.
PDH (Preliminary Directions Hearing) – A short court hearing where the court will set a timetable for financial disclosure.
CRH (Case Review Hearing) – A hearing before the court of approximately 30 mins where the court will check the progress in the case and urge ADR (see below).
Mesher Order – Where the property remains in joint names until a ‘trigger’ date such as the youngest child leaving education.
Spousal maintenance – A claim by one party against the other for a regular payment to cover her/his needs as distinct from child maintenance (see below).
Schedule 1 application – An application made for maintenance/lump sums to maintain the child where the parties are not married.
Consent Order – The final financial order made by the court where the parties have reached an agreement as to the financial relief.
Form M – The form that goes with a consent order to the court giving brief details of the financial position of the parties.
Undertakings – A binding promise to the court to do or not do something.
Parental Responsibility (PR) – The ability to be involved in the big picture decisions about children.
Residence – The parent who cares for the children on a day to day basis has residence.
Joint or shared residence – Where the children live with both parents often on an equal basis ie the children have 2 homes.
Contact – The parent who does not have residence will have contact which can take various forms.
Child Maintenance – The amount that is paid for the needs of children by the non-resident parent.
Public law children proceedings – Where the Minister issues proceedings in relation to the children where there are concerns over the care of the children.
Removal from the jurisdiction – Where one parent applies to the court for permission to take the children to live outside Jersey on a permanent basis.
Habitual Residence – The jurisdiction that the child lives in – the place that is considered to be their home.
Hague Convention – The list of States who have signed the international convention which means that children can be returned from that state to Jersey and visa versa.
Adoption – A process whereby a person assumes the parenting of another, usually a child, and, in so doing, permanently transfers all rights and responsibilities from the biological parent or parents.
Article 10 orders – Orders made by the court regarding PR, residence and contact.
Prohibited Steps Order – An order that stops a parent taking certain steps e.g. taking the child away from Jersey.
Specific Issue Order – An order that resolves a particular issue such as what school a child should attend.
Injunctions (Family law only):
Non-molestation injunction – An order of the court for one party (or their agents) to stay away from the other party.
Ouster Injunction – An order of the court removing one party from their home.
Non-Removal Injunction – An order of the court stopping children being removed from Jersey.
ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) – This is an alternative to court based solutions to any of the issues above. It can take a number forms below:
- Mediation – Where an independent 3rd person attempts to negotiate agreement.
- Private FDR – Where an independent lawyer attempts to resolve matters and both parties have their own lawyers present.
- Arbitration – Where an independent 3rd person (a lawyer normally from outside Jersey) will make a binding decision with regard to the issues.
- Collaborative law – Where suitably qualified lawyers assist the parties to reach agreement on the issues outside the court process through a series of 4 way meetings (both parties and their lawyers).
Family Registrar – The judges in the Family court.
JFCAS – The Jersey Family Court Advisory Service. In cases involving children issues very often a JFCAS officer will be appointed to consider child welfare issues.
Guardian – A person appointed by the court to consider the welfare of the children in difficult cases.