News and Insights
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 i.e. 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.