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.​

Parslows for Family Law - Children

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

“You have been amazing and really put me at ease…”

‘Thank you so much. You have been amazing and really put me at ease.
Thank you for your time and for helping me.’

Family Law February 5, 2024

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‘Excellent client service, knowledgeable, caring staff. Effective communication, clear and concise information. I wish I had used Parslows years ago and I am sure the outcome I faced would have been very different.’

Family Law October 5, 2023

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‘Natalie Jenner offers a judgement-free space where you will be listened to. I felt supported by her and she helped me to make some very difficult decisions. Every time I speak to her, I come away feeling empowered with a sense of clarity. She offered sensible advice and guided me through various processes at a very difficult time. She has excellent knowledge of family law. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her.’

Family Law October 4, 2023

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From the moment I contacted Parslows and spoke with Barbara my mind was immediately put at ease. I had many questions throughout my legal dealings and the Parslows team always came back to me promptly and took the time to explain various legal jargon making it easy to understand. It was the best money I have ever spent and was an absolute pleasure dealing with Barbara”

Family Law August 22, 2023

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Thanks so much for everything, honestly you’ve made it so much easier for me and given me reassurance when I truly needed it. 
Best money I have ever spent.   Thanks so much for everything Barbara, it’s been lovely meeting you. 

Family Law August 8, 2023

“Professional support …”

Thank you to you and the Parslows Team so much for all the help, support and professional received by me at what has been a difficult time

Family Law June 8, 2023

“Careful consideration and time …”

Thank you for steering the dispute to family foundation, something my ex-partners legal advisor should have requested form the outset as a first step. A summons to Royal Court would have been a very bad situation for all parties.

I thank you for your careful consideration and time.

Family Law March 20, 2023

“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