Matters of divorce, judicial separation, annulments and dissolutions of marriages are handled by The Matrimonial Causes Division of the Royal Court. Follow this link for more information.
The Family Proceedings Advisory Service become involved when a separation or divorce involves children and an agreement has not been reached in respect of the care of the children, or when social services have become involved or when children are being adopted. The Family Proceedings Advisory Service.has fully trained mediators and is able to offer Mediation as an alternative to a contested court hearing where both parties agree to this. The Mediation process is kept completely confidential.
If you have become divorced or separated and your right to live in Guernsey was based on your relationship with a Qualified Resident or licence holder, you should contact the Housing Control section. Call them on 715790 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for advice about non employment-related housing licences.
If you have recently got separated or divorced and need to register your new details with various States' departments, soon you will be able to tell them all through one online form, but for the time being you will need to contact them individually.
You may also need to apply for a new:
- Resident Certificate/Employment Permit (Right to Work) follow this link
- You will also need to tell the Income Tax office of your separation
Reform of divorce, annulment and judicial separation legislation
In 2020, the States of Guernsey agreed to reform the legislation that relates to divorce, annulment and judicial separation. The resulting Matrimonial Causes Law has recently been published and will be considered by the States Assembly at their meeting in July 2022. If approved, Royal Assent will then need to be obtained. It is expected to commence in early 2023.
The aim of the reform is to modernise and simplify the legislation to try to reduce unnecessary conflict, whilst ensuring that the legislation is inclusive and fair, and is consistent and compliant with international standards. The current law has been amended and changed over time but never substantially reformed.
The Review of the Matrimonial Causes Law (the Review) was prioritised in the Policy & Resource Plan (Billet d'État XII, June 2017) in support of achieving the 'One Community: inclusive and committed to social justice' outcome. The required drafting of the related legislation was prioritised under the Government Work Plan 2021-2025.
The Review included reforms setting out how the process for divorce, annulment or judicial separation can best assist couples to legally separate and is reflective of today's society. The Review's Terms of Reference [323kb] considers the changes to be made to the Matrimonial Causes Law, (Guernsey) 1939. The Review did not consider how arrangements for any children are agreed, as this is covered by a separate piece of legislation the Children (Guernsey and Alderney) Law, 2008.
The Matrimonial Causes Reform consultation took place in 2019. A total of 158 responses to the consultation showed there was majority support for the proposals to reform the current law.
For further information please contact Strategy & Policy: StrategicPolicy@gov.gg.