The wrongful removal of a child from the parent with care without their permission.
An application to court for the official transfer of all parental rights that a biological parent has to a child and the assumption by the adopting parent of all such rights.
A formal legal document sworn before a notary public or advocate of five years’ standing.
All the financial orders that a court can make on divorce, including maintenance for spouses and children, lump sum orders and the transfer of property. This is sometimes known as financial provision.
A legal mechanism for securing monies against real property.
CAFCASS (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service) is based in England. The local equivalent is the Family Proceedings Advisory Service (FPAS) who on the instruction of the court represent the interests of children.
An offer of settlement made in matrimonial financial proceedings. A Calderbank offer is marked ‘without prejudice save as to costs’. This means that the trial judge will only be made aware of the offer once the case has been concluded and when one party asks that the other should pay the costs of the proceedings because the other side have unreasonably rejected the offer. Calderbank offers are no longer effective in England, but remain so in the Bailiwick. Such offers relate only to financial proceedings and not in relation to children.
Cash equivalent transfer value (CETV)
This is a mechanism for valuing pension rights. Despite its name, the CETV of a pension does not equate to available cash and instead is the value of the pension in the event of a transfer from one scheme to another.
Change of name deed
The formal process for change of a name.
Person under the age of eighteen.
Child of the marriage
A child of both parties to the marriage or any other child, save for a foster child, who has been treated by both parents as a child of their marriage.
A financial order which prevents either party from bringing any further financial claims against the other. A clean break may be expressed in relation to claims for maintenance or capital, or both.
Living together as husband and wife without being married.
Collaborative law practice
A legal process enabling separating couples to work together with their collaboratively trained lawyers and financial professionals to try and achieve a settlement without the need to go to court. This usually involves a series of round table meetings rather than protracted correspondence back and forth.
A formal application to court to commit a person to prison for breach of a court order.
Common law marriage
A popular expression for the relationship between couples who are living together without being married. This has no status in Guernsey law.
An order made by the court in relation to divorce, children or finances where the parties are in agreement.
The right of a child to have direct or indirect access usually to a parent or to siblings. Direct contact is face to face, whereas indirect contact includes access by telephone, webcam or email.
A neutral venue to facilitate children seeing parents. The Guernsey Contact Centre is located at Roseville Community Centre, Le Bouet, St Peter Port.
A court order requiring the custodial parent to allow the child to have contact with someone else, usually a parent or sibling.
Contempt of court
The wilful and deliberate breach of a court order, judgment or decree, punishable by a fine, imprisonment or both.
A formal legal document to convey real property.
These relate to the defunct Child Support Agency in England, now called the Child Maintenance & Enforcement Commission (CMEC). These rules provide a formula to calculate the maintenance payable dependent upon the number of children and the extent of overnight contact with the absent parent, and are often adopted as guidance in the Guernsey courts.
A now redundant term previously used to describe where children live or in relation to parental rights. Under the Children (Guernsey and Alderney) Law, 2008, ‘joint custody’ has been replaced by the term ‘parental responsibility’, and ‘care and control’ by ‘residence’.
Defined contact order
An order of the court fixing the dates, times and places for the children to see the absent parent.
Part of the financial proceedings on divorce where information and documentation is exchanged between spouses.
The legal ending of a marriage.
This is very widely defined to include physical, verbal and emotional harm. Practice Direction No 6 of 2008 states that "domestic abuse includes physical violence, extreme or excessive threatening, insulting or intimidating behaviour and any other form of abuse which directly or indirectly may have caused harm to the other party or to the child or which may give rise to the risk of harm".
The location of your permanent residence. To issue divorce proceedings, it is necessary for either party to be domiciled in the Bailiwick or to have been habitually resident for at least twelve months immediately prior to issue of the divorce proceedings.
This is a formula for calculating the lump sum required to achieve a clean break. It takes into account the annual maintenance requirement and life expectancy of the recipient.
Ex parte application
An application to the court made without notice to the other party.
Family Proceedings Advisory Service (FPAS)
A States of Guernsey funded, but wholly independent agency which represents the interests of children and young people in public and private law proceedings. This is the Guernsey equivalent of CAFCASS and was previously known as the Safeguarder Service, and before that as the Court Welfare Service.
The genetic father of a child (whether or not he has parental responsibility) or an adoptive father.
The making of a final order terminates a marriage.
Financial dispute resolution hearing (FDR)
A hearing before a judge as part of the financial proceedings where the court, having considered all the relevant documentation, gives an indication as to the likely financial order that would be made in the event that the matter were to proceed to trial. If no settlement is reached, a different judge will deal with the final hearing without being privy to what was said during the FDR hearing.
This is another name for ancillary relief, that is, all the financial orders that can be made on divorce, namely maintenance for spouses and children, lump sum orders and the vesting of real property.
Financial statement - Form A
A standard format twenty-six page questionnaire which each party is required to complete in the course of a financial application in divorce proceedings.
Financial statement - Form E
A standard form providing basic information with regard to each party's circumstances, assets and incomes, and is filed together with any consent order or judicial separation.
Finding of fact hearing
A hearing fixed by the court to determine disputed facts of domestic abuse or violence where relevant to issues of residence and contact.
A hearing when the court will decide what further disclosure is required from each party in relation to financial matters or evidence.
Court application for financial provision/ancillary relief.
Court application in relation to children.
Where you live. For legal purposes, this is important because it can determine in which jurisdiction proceedings are brought. For divorce purposes, it is necessary for one party to be either domiciled in the jurisdiction or to have lived there for at least the last twelve months.
A course of conduct intended to disturb, provoke or upset.
A court order prohibiting certain types of behaviour or requiring a person to do something, such as allowing a spouse to return to the home. Typical injunction orders are non-molestation orders, prohibiting the use or threats of violence, or an ouster order requiring one party to vacate the matrimonial home.
Inter partes application
An application to the court where notice is given to the other party. Most court applications are inter partes as opposed to an ex parte application, where no notice is given.
There are two types of judicial separation. Firstly, a judicial separation by consent, which is an order of the court granted with the consent of the parties confirming agreement with regard to all financial matters and children. Secondly, a decree of judicial separation, which is similar to a decree of divorce in that the same grounds apply, but differs from a divorce in that upon granting, the parties are not divorced but are relieved of the obligation to cohabit.
The authority of a particular court to rule on a specific legal matter.
An application to the court for a judicial auction by co-owners of land. It is a fundamental principle of Guernsey law that co-owners of land cannot be compelled to remain in joint ownership.
Cash payment of a sum of money.
The regular payment of money by one spouse to another for their financial support. Maintenance can be paid for a fixed period of time or indefinitely, and is also known as periodical payments.
Maintenance pending suit
Temporary financial support of one spouse/children whilst the divorce is pending.
A non-legal means of attempting to resolve family matters with the assistance of a neutral third party.
A type of financial order made in divorce proceedings which provides for the postponement of the sale of the matrimonial home upon specified triggers. These typically include the youngest child attaining the age of eighteen years or completion of their full time education, whichever shall be the later, or the earlier death of the custodial parent, or voluntary sale of the property. The order also provides as to how the sale proceeds are to be divided between the parties and who pays what pending sale.
An order granted in another jurisdiction to reflect the terms of the order granted in the home jurisdiction. Mirror orders are registered in other jurisdictions to ensure enforceability.
The woman who gave birth to a child or an adoptive mother.
An injunction order made against a spouse or partner. Such an order usually prevents an individual from using or threatening violence or from encouraging others to do so. Breach of such an order can lead to arrest, and a financial penalty or imprisonment for contempt of court.
A petition filed at court seeking a declaration that the marriage is either void or voidable, for example, if the marriage was celebrated through lack of consent, duress, mistake, incapacity or otherwise.
A court order requiring one party to leave the family home, to prevent re-entry or to come within a specified distance.
A mother or father who has parental responsibility.
All the rights, duties and responsibilities which by law a parent of a child has in relation to that child.
Legal confirmation of the parental relationship between a father and his child.
A court order requiring the recipient to comply with a court order and warning as to the consequences of any failure to comply.
Regular payments of maintenance for a spouse or child.
All property other than the right of ownership of land and other limited rights in land. Personal property is the opposite of real property.
A formal court document seeking a specific remedy from the court.
A person who issues a petition for divorce or judicial separation order.
A written financial agreement between parties after they have married.
Power of arrest
Specific power included in injunction orders enabling a police officer to arrest a party who he believes to be in breach of the order.
A formal directive from the court stipulating how formal court procedures are to be undertaken.
The part of a petition where the petitioner specifies the remedy sought.
A written legal agreement between a couple made before they marry which sets out what will happen in the event of divorce.
Private law proceedings
Court applications between individuals, such as applications for parental responsibility, residence and contact. The opposite of private law proceedings, public law, generally relates to child care proceedings.
Prohibited steps order
An order preventing a specific action such as the removal of a child from the jurisdiction.
A set of guidelines or rules usually produced by the court or some other agency.
An order granted as part of the divorce process whereby the court confirms that the grounds of divorce are made out. Upon granting of a provisional order, the final order usually follows thirty-two days later.
Public law proceedings
Proceedings brought by the state against an individual, the most common of which are care proceedings.
Land or an interest in land. The opposite of real property is personal property/personalty.
Reasonable contact order
An order stating that the children have the right to maintain direct and/or indirect access with the absent parent. Unlike a defined contact order, a reasonable contact order does not specify the dates, times and places when contact is to take place.
An order confirming where the child/children shall live.
A person against whom a petition is issued.
Section 17 orders
This relates to Section 17 of the Children (Guernsey and Alderney) Law, 2008. The orders under Section 17 are residence, contact, specific issue, prohibited steps and parental responsibility.
Section 25 factors
These are all the factors that can be taken into account by the Royal Court in sharing assets on divorce. Section 25 relates to the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, which is English law imported into Guernsey divorce law by custom.
An order of the court whereby the children reside for part of the time with each parent.
Statement of arrangements
A form which is sent to the court with the petition of divorce if there are children of the family. The form provides the court with basic details in relation to where the children reside, schooling, maintenance and contact. In cases where there are relevant children, the court must at the provisional order stage of the divorce state that the arrangements for the children are satisfactory or if not, the provisional decree will be refused.
Statement of means
A statement setting out each party's income and outgoings.
The current cash value of a life/endowment policy.
A final hearing when the court will determine the issues that need to be resolved. This is otherwise known as a final or contested hearing.
A solemn promise to the court to do or not to do something. Breach of an undertaking is punishable as a contempt of court.
A formal conveyancing document which transfers property between spouses.
A marriage that legally has no effect and is regarded as invalid from its beginning. It is as if the marriage had never existed.
A marriage that is valid when entered into and remains valid unless a court declares that it should be cancelled on specific grounds.
A list of considerations that a court will take into account before making orders in relation to children, such as residence or contact.