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Divorce Law Reform

The States of Jersey are looking to reform their divorce laws and have launched a social media consultation seeking the views of islanders on whether their divorce laws need to change. The divorce laws in Jersey are now seventy years old and are quite different to the laws regarding divorce in England and Wales.
The changes for Jersey include:
1) The States of Jersey are looking at removing the three year wait that parties currently have to file for divorce. At present in Jersey parties have to be married for three years before filing for divorce. The situation is different in England and Wales with parties only having to be married for the period of one year before filing for divorce.

2) The States of Jersey are looking to introduce ‘no fault’ divorce. We have looked at this in previous blog posts, it is something that people are currently campaigning for in England and Wales. At present in England and Wales if somebody wants to divorce their spouse sooner than two years after separating they must blame their spouse for the breakdown of the marriage which can cause upset and conflict.

3) The States of Jersey are looking at possibly introducing joint filing for divorce. Joint filing is not available in England and Wales at present; the divorce petition is presented by one spouse known as the ‘Petitioner’ in proceedings and is received by the spouse known as the ‘Respondent’, and the parties are not allowed to share the same solicitor in divorce proceedings. In enabling parties to file for divorce jointly it would allow parties to deal with matters in a more amicable way.

4) The States of Jersey are considering the introduction of compulsory mediation to look at whether or not they are able to agree their divorce settlement. In England and Wales we do not have compulsory mediation for all divorce matters but where a spouse is considering making an application to the court for financial remedy they must attempt mediation before making an application unless they are eligible for an exemption. Mediation can be extremely helpful to parties who both wish to engage.

The reforms being considered by the States of Jersey all point towards making the divorce process less confrontational, enabling parties to deal with matters as amicably as possible which is important especially when there are children of the marriage. Whilst the process is different in England and Wales, the idea is much the same amongst campaigners looking for reform of the divorce process in England and Wales. The thought being that the current systems are too adversarial.
Although there is still a lot that could be done in England and Wales to make the divorce process less confrontational a lot depends on how the divorce process is dealt with. At JNP Legal all of our solicitors dealing with separation and financial remedy are members of Resolution, promoting an approach which is sensitive, cost effective and most likely to result in an agreement. If you are looking to start divorce proceedings but are worried about how to handle matters please contact a member of our family department for some advice and assistance concentrating on minimising conflict and reducing the impact on you and your family.

JNP Legal offer a variety of legal services. Our Nelson office is open Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm and our Merthyr Tydfil Office is open 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday and 9am – 12pm every Saturday morning.
If you are unable to attend our offices we would be more than happy to arrange a home appointment, where convenient.
We value our clients and pride ourselves on our ability to offer a first class service.
If you require our assistance with any legal matters please call us on 01685 350421 (Merthyr Tydfil Office) or 01443 450561 (Nelson Office) or contact us via email on Law@jnplegal.org.

JNP Legal offer a variety of legal services. Our Merthyr, Nelson & Llanishen office is open Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm and our Merthyr Tydfil Office is open 9am – 12pm every Saturday morning.
If you are unable to attend our offices we would be more than happy to arrange a home appointment, where convenient.
We value our clients and pride ourselves on our ability to offer a first class service.
If you require our assistance with any legal matters please call us on 01685 350421 (Merthyr Tydfil Office) 01443 450561 (Nelson Office) or 02920 763211 (Cardiff Office) or contact us via email on Law@jnplegal.org.

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