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Jersey civil partnership | Procedure for civil partnership dissolution

Proceedings for civil partnership dissolution cannot be commenced until at least 3 years have passed from the date of the formation of your civil partnership, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

The Grounds of Dissolution

Under Jersey Law the Court may grant a final order for of your civil partnership dissolution on one or more of the following grounds:

  • The Respondent has behaved in such a way that the applicant cannot reasonably be expected to live with the Respondent;
  • The Respondent is curably of unsound mind and has been continuously under care and treatment for a period of at least 5 years immediately preceding the application:
  • The Respondent has deserted the applicant without cause for a period of at least 2 years; and
  • The parties to the civil partnership
    • Have lived apart for a continuous period of at least one year immediately preceding the application and the respondent consents to the dissolution of the partnership;
    • Have lived apart for a continuous period of at least 2 years immediately preceding the application.

Procedure for applying for civil partnership dissolution

Step 1- Preparation of the Cause Application

The cause application is drafted.

The application sets out the particulars of your civil partnership, the grounds for dissolution and the relief that you want.

The person who issues the Cause Application is the Applicant and the other person is the Respondent.

Step 2- File the Cause Application with the Court

The Cause Application is filed with the Royal Court, together with:

  • Original or certified copy (from the Office of the Superintendent Registrar) of your civil partnership certificate;
  • Notice of Proceedings (Form CP3);
  • Acknowledgment of Service (Form CP4);
  • Statement of Arrangements for children (if appropriate); and
  • Court filing fee.

Step 3-Serving the Cause application papers on the Respondent

The Royal Court will review your Cause Application and associated documents.  If it is satisfied that the documents are in order, it will issue a Court file number and return the documentation to you for service.

If the Respondent is in Jersey, then the cause application must be served personally on the Respondent through the Viscount’s department.

The following will be served on the Respondent:

  • Cause application;
  • Notice of proceedings;
  • Acknowledgement of Service;
  • Statement of Arrangements for children (if applicable).

Step 4- Return of Acknowledgment of Service

The Respondent has 8 days after being served with the Cause papers to complete and return the acknowledgment of service to the Royal Court.  The Respondent will confirm whether he/she intends to defend the cause application.

Step 5- Setting the Cause for Hearing (undefended cases)

If the Respondent confirms that he/she does not intend to defend the cause application, you can proceed to apply for the Cause to be set down at the next undefended hearing.  In order to set the Cause application down, you will be required to apply for the Greffier’s certificate and complete an affidavit (depending upon which ground you have based your application).

If the Registrar is satisfied with the paperwork, the Registrar issues the Greffier’s certificate and sets a date for the pronouncement of the Conditional Order.

Step 6-Hearing

In the case of an undefended hearing, the Court will consider the documentation filed without the parties being present.  The parties may be required to attend if there is a dispute about costs.

Step 7- Conditional Order

If the Court is satisfied with the Cause Application and supporting documents the Conditional Order will be pronounced. If the Court is satisfied about the arrangements for each child, this is stated in the Court Minutes and a Certificate of Satisfaction will be issued to you.

Step 8- Decree Absolute

From six weeks and a day after the Conditional Order has been pronounced, the Applicant is entitled to apply for a final order for dissolution of the civil partnership.

If the Petitioner does not apply, the Respondent may apply for the Conditional Order to be made Final three months thereafter by filing a summons.

The Conditional Order will not be made final unless the Registrar is satisfied with the arrangements

Natalie Jenner | Partner | Divorce and Family law – Department Head
July 2017

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The information and opinions expressed in this briefing does not purport to be definitive or comprehensive and are not intended to provide professional advice. For specific advice, please contact Parslows, We are not responsible for, and do not accept any responsibility or liability in connection with, the content of this document or any reliance upon it.


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