Divorces and Legal Separations (Jersey) Law 1973
A LAW to make provision in relation to the
recognition in Jersey of divorces and legal separations obtained outside Jersey
Commencement [see endnotes]
In this Law “country” includes a colony or other
dependent territory of the United Kingdom but for the purposes of this Law a person
shall be treated as a national of such a territory only if it has a law of
citizenship or nationality separate from that of the United Kingdom and the person
is a citizen or national of that territory under that law.
of divorces and judicial separations granted in the British Islands
Subject to the provisions of Article 9, the validity of a
decree of divorce or judicial separation granted after the commencement of this
Law shall, if it was granted under the law of any part of the British Islands,
be recognized in Jersey.
divorces and legal separations
The provisions of Articles 4, 5 and 6 shall have effect,
subject to Article 9, as respects the recognition in Jersey of the
validity of overseas divorces and legal separations, that is to say, divorces
and legal separations which –
(a) have been obtained by
means of judicial or other proceedings in any country outside the British
(b) are effective under the
law of that country.
(1) The validity of an
overseas divorce or legal separation shall be recognized if, at the date of the
institution of the proceedings in the country in which it was
spouse was habitually resident in that country; or
spouse was a national of that country.
(2) In relation to a
country the law of which uses the concept of domicile as a ground of
jurisdiction in matters of divorce or legal separation, paragraph (1)(a)
shall have effect as if the reference to habitual residence included a
reference to domicile within the meaning of that law.
(3) In relation to a
country comprising territories in which different systems of law are in force
in matters of divorce or legal separation, the foregoing provisions of this Article,
except those relating to nationality, shall have effect as if each territory
were a separate country.
and divorces following legal separations
(1) Where there have been
cross-proceedings, the validity of an overseas divorce or legal separation
obtained either in the original proceedings or in the cross-proceedings shall be
recognized if the requirements of Article 4(1)(a) or (b) are satisfied in
relation to the date of the institution either of the original proceedings or
of the cross-proceedings.
(2) Where a legal
separation the validity of which is entitled to recognition by virtue of the
provisions of Article 4 or of paragraph (1) is converted, in the
country in which it was obtained, into a divorce, the validity of the divorce
shall be recognized whether or not it would itself be entitled to recognition
by virtue of those provisions.
of facts relevant to recognition
(1) For the purpose of
deciding whether an overseas divorce or legal separation is entitled to
recognition by virtue of the foregoing provisions of this Law, any finding of
fact made, whether expressly or by implication, in the proceedings by means of
which the divorce or legal separation was obtained and on the basis of which
jurisdiction was assumed in those proceedings shall –
both spouses took part in the proceedings, be conclusive evidence of the fact
any other case, be sufficient proof of that fact unless the contrary is shown.
(2) In this Article
“finding of fact” includes a finding that either spouse was
habitually resident or domiciled in, or a national of, the country in which the
divorce or legal separation was obtained; and for the purposes of paragraph (1)(a),
a spouse who has appeared in judicial proceedings shall be treated as having
taken part in them.
existing rules of recognition to continue in force
This Law is without prejudice to the recognition of the validity of
divorces and legal separations obtained outside the British
(a) by virtue of any rule
of law relating to divorces or legal separations obtained in the country of the
spouses’ domicile or obtained elsewhere and recognized as valid in that
(b) by virtue of any
enactment other than this Law,
but, save as aforesaid, no such divorce or legal separation shall be
recognized as valid in Jersey except as provided in this Law.
of divorce by third country no bar to re-marriage
Where the validity of a divorce obtained in any country is entitled
to recognition by virtue of the foregoing provisions of this Law or by virtue
of any rule or enactment preserved by Article 7, neither spouse shall be
precluded from re-marrying in Jersey on the ground that the validity of the
divorce would not be recognized in any other country.
(1) The validity
decree of divorce or judicial separation granted under the law of any part of
the British Islands; or
divorce or legal separation obtained outside the British Islands,
shall not be recognized in Jersey if it was granted or obtained at a
time when, according to the law of Jersey including its rules of private
international law and the provisions of this Law, there was no subsisting
marriage between the parties.
(2) Subject to the
provisions of paragraph (1), recognition by virtue of this Law or of any rule
preserved by Article 7 of the validity of a divorce or legal separation
obtained outside the British Islands may be refused if, and only
was obtained by one spouse –
(i) without such
steps having been taken for giving notice of the proceedings to the other
spouse as, having regard to the nature of the proceedings and all the
circumstances, should reasonably have been taken, or
the other spouse having been given, for any reason other than lack of notice,
such opportunity to take part in the proceedings as, having regard to the
matters aforesaid, the spouse should reasonably have been given; or
recognition would manifestly be contrary to public policy.
(3) Nothing in this Law
shall be construed as requiring the recognition of any findings of fault made
in any proceedings for divorce or separation or of any maintenance, custody or
other ancillary order made in any such proceedings.
The provisions of this Law relating to overseas divorces and legal
separations and other divorces and legal separations obtained outside the
British Islands apply to a divorce or legal separation obtained before the date
of the commencement of this Law as well as to one obtained on or after that
date, and, in the case of a divorce or legal separation obtained before that
(a) require, or, as the
case may be, preclude the recognition of its validity in relation to any time
before that date as well as in relation to any subsequent time; but
(b) do not affect any
property rights to which any person became entitled before that date or apply
where the question of the validity of the divorce or legal separation has been
decided by any competent court in the British Islands before that date.
This Law may be cited as the Recognition of Divorces and Legal
Separations (Jersey) Law 1973.