We provide a friendly, discreet approach to child issues in the case of separation and divorce.

Our family solicitors will support and advise you in often difficult proceedings.

Child Maintenance in Divorce

When relationships come to an end, and you have children, they will inevitably be affected.

Cases involving children are often emotionally charged and sometimes complex. Many legal and emotional issues need to be decided, such as where the children will live and how much time they will spend with you and your partner.

Parslows specialist legal team members have many years of experience working with both fathers and mothers to reach maintenance, custody and contact agreements.​

What types of orders will the Jersey Court grant concerning children?

When parents separate or divorce, there is no necessity for any custody order, and each parent retains parental responsibility. It is assumed that the parents will make their own arrangements for the care of their children without any intervention from the court. There is a principle of no order under the Children (Jersey) Law 2002.

However, where the parents cannot agree, they can apply to the Royal Court to determine the following:

  • Child maintenance order
  • Who a child lives with (residence order)
  • With whom the child has contact (contact order)
  • Whether there should be a shared residence order
What is a child maintenance order?

This is an order requiring the non–resident parent to pay a sum of money to meet the child’s reasonable needs. In fixing an appropriate level of child maintenance the Royal Court has the discretion to the amount to be paid, taking into account the reasonable needs of the children balanced against the financial resources of the non-resident parent. Child maintenance is paid until each child shall attain the age of eighteen years or cease to be in full-time education or training, whichever shall be the latter.

What does parental responsibility mean?

Where a child’s father and mother were married at the time of birth, they each have parental responsibility for the child. Where the parents are unmarried, only the mother has parental responsibility. The father can gain parental responsibility by either being named as the father of the child on the birth certificate, entering into a parental responsibility agreement with the mother or by an order of the Royal Court.

What is a residence order?

A residence order determines with whom the child should live on a day to day basis. The following persons can apply for a residence order:

  • Mother or father of the child
  • Anyone with parental responsibility
  • Any person with the permission of the Court
What is a contact order?

Previously known as access, a contact order requires the person with whom a child lives to allow that child to visit, stay or have contact with a person named in the order. An order of this nature would be granted where the parent with whom the child lives is refusing contact.

What is a shared residence order?

This is an order of the Royal Court whereby the children reside with each parent for part of the time. 

When the court makes an order regarding children, what does it consider or take into account?

When making orders in respect of children, the Royal Court will always consider the child’s welfare to be paramount.. The Royal Court will have regard to the “welfare checklist”, as follows:

  • The ascertainable wishes of the child
  • The child’s physical, emotional and educational needs
  • The effect of change on the child
  • The child’s age, sex, background and other characteristics
  • Any harm the child has suffered or is at risk of suffering
  • How capable the child’s parents are of meeting her needs
  • The range of powers available to the court
What is the Royal Courts position regarding access and contact to both parents on divorce or legal partnership dissolution?

The Royal Court will always keep in mind that the child’s welfare is paramount. Therefore, the expectation is that a child will maintain a relationship and spend time with each parent and both their maternal and paternal families.

What is the Royal Courts position regarding access and contact to both parents on divorce or legal partnership dissolution?

The Royal Court will always keep in mind that the child’s welfare is paramount. Therefore, the expectation is that a child will maintain a relationship and spend time with each parent and their maternal and paternal families.

What age can a child make up their own mind as to where to live or see a parent?

Generally, the older the child, the more the Courts will listen to what the child wants and why. For example, the Royal Court may give the views of an averagely mature twelve-year-old considerable weight.

Can I take my children out of Jersey without the consent of the other parent?

If a residence order is in force, no-one can take a child out of Jersey without either the written consent of everyone who has parental responsibility for the child or without leave of the Royal Court. If a residence order favours one parent, they are entitled to remove the children as long as it is less than a month.

Can I stop my ex-partner from taking our children out of Jersey?

If a parent wishes to prevent a child from being removed from Jersey, an application can be made to the Royal Court for either:

  • A prohibited steps order
  • An injunction
Can I relocate our children to live in a foreign jurisdiction against my ex-partner's wishes?

If a parent wishes to relocate with their children, they can submit an application for a specific issue order. The Royal Court would need to be satisfied that the arrangements proposed are in the child’s best interests. There is a presumption that a child will be better off living in Jersey if they lived here and are settled. However, an applicant who has a good reason for relocating, has made arrangements for education, accommodation and income in the other country may well persuade the Royal Court.

We will advise you on the options available to you as parents and help you resolve any contested issues raised in relation to child custody and living arrangements of their children. We can also assist clients with contact issues that may arise months or years after a divorce has been finalised.

Our family solicitors have the experience to assist and support you to reach an agreement in difficult and what may appear to be intractable issues concerning children.

What our clients say

“Relief is an understatement …”

Thank you for the decree absolute from Natalie. Relief is an understatement! Thank you to both of you [Natalie and Catia] for all your work, understanding, compassion and support through the most awful of times.

Family Law July 18, 2022

“Huge thank you …”

Huge thank you to you Natalie and your colleagues involved with my separation agreement and making things so simple and fast in what has been a difficult time. I look forward to receiving my updated draft Will for my perusal and finalisation.

I will certainly recommend you to everyone and I have told my daughter to contact you re her Wills as she has now been waiting 9 months with numerous chaser e mails to another firm and still nothing to sign!

Family Law July 13, 2022

“Thank you so much …”

Just a quick note from me, thank you so much for all your help on this Natalie.  I appreciate I have probably been quite persistent (putting it kindly) in contacting and requesting updates and appreciate how you have handled this and dealt with the stressful situation last week.

Family Law October 25, 2021

“I am so very grateful …”

Thank you so much for all your help Natalie.  You are making this incredibly difficult time far easier and for that I am very grateful.

Family Law May 11, 2021

“Thank you so much ….”

Thank you so much for your kindness and professionalism today. You made a difficult day much easier.

Family Law October 29, 2020

“Natalie and the team worked together seamlessly …”

‘Natalie and the team worked together seamlessly as a team for me consciously keeping my costs throughout as low as possible, whilst at the same time in my opinion giving me the best advice and always making sure I understood any ramifications of our decisions. They were at all times extremely kind, friendly, polite and punctual and the time spent in the offices was always friendly and not intimidating at all, almost family like. Legal 500 2021 client testimonial 

Family Law October 1, 2020

“I think the key is the whole firm feels like a real team …”

‘Parslows were head and shoulders the friendliest and most welcoming, right from their receptionist’s warm welcome. The whole team instantly realised my position and distress, they put me at ease and explained the best way forward and the likely costs moving forward. After walking into their firm a complete mess I left feeling a lot happier and comfortable that we could all work well together, I have been working with them now for over a year and simply can’t praise them enough. I think the key is the whole firm feels like a real team.’ Legal 500 2021 client testimonial 

Family Law September 14, 2020

“Thank you again for getting me home …”

The move went well despite the Covid situation and to have my family with me is great.  Thank you so much for getting me home.

Family Law August 3, 2020

“You make an awesome team …”

I cannot tell you enough how much I appreciate all your and Natalie's hard work. You make an awesome team and I can’t thank you enough.

Family Law June 15, 2020

“A very well deserved thank you for all the work …”

I’ve never really given a thank you that was deserved for all the work carried out by Parslows and the efforts that you put in over the full duration of the case. Your patience during some very tedious moments, advice and with support from the team throughout, was very much appreciated.

Family Law February 24, 2020

“Will utilise your services in the future …”

Thank you to the Parslows team for the services they have provided to me over the last 12 months. Will utilise your services in the future (hopefully not necessary) if and when required. Have a lovely weekend.

Family Law November 18, 2019

“I would recommend you to anybody going through the same proceedings …”

I cannot express enough how grateful I am for your work on this case, it has been painful to say the least but I couldn’t fault you Natalie for your ongoing support.  I would recommend you to anybody going through the same proceedings.

Family Law November 5, 2019

“No praise high enough …”

I  can't thank you and the team highly enough for all you have done. In a few weeks I’ll be back again as I want to make a new will. But really…. without you and the team I would been been totally lost. There is no praise high enough for you all.

Family Law October 10, 2019

“Thank you for making this possible …”

Thank you for making this possible. You and Natalie and everyone at Parslows have been wonderful over this long and at times rather traumatic 16 months.

Family Law September 25, 2019

“Efficient and professional …”

Thank you for your services ..... I have been very pleased with the efficient and professional service which you provide.

Family Law July 2, 2019

“Thank you for your continued help …”

Thank you for your continued help and support in this matter and thank you to the family team.

Family Law May 10, 2019

“You were amazing …”

Hi Natalie, honestly thank you so much for today, you were amazing and got every point over perfectly! Hopefully some positive steps forward but watch this space!

Family Law April 29, 2019

“You are a credit to your industry …”

Thank you for getting me to this point. Your help and support has been paramount in getting us here.  You are a credit to your industry.

Family Law September 27, 2018

“You are an absolute star …”

You are an absolute star. I wouldn’t have done this without you.

Family Law July 23, 2018

“I took your advice … he has paid all maintenance owed ….”

Just a quick update regarding my problem with my ex paying the maintenance he owed.  I took your advice and contacted a debt collection agency which we use in work.  Today he has paid all maintenance owed and agreed to increase his maintenance payments to the correct amount.  I am in shock!  I wanted to thank you for your advice and for taking the time to help me I really appreciate it.

Family Law July 2, 2018

“Gratitude for your professionalism and conduct …”

I am whole heartedly relieved with final closure and agreement of the proposed settlement offer. Please can I extend my gratitude for your professionalism and conduct in reaching the final outcome.

Family Law February 15, 2018

“You’ve really helped in so many ways …”

Thank you very much [Natalie], and thank you again for all your help, advice, patience and guidance over the last year or so. You’ve really helped in so many ways and it really is appreciated.

Family Law November 27, 2017