Applicants for Family Law Legal Aid must be able to satisfy three eligibility tests:
Applicants must be ordinarily resident in Jersey
Residency must be for a period of not less than 12 months immediately prior to the application for Legal Aid
All applicants must be registered with Social Security
Applicants may be required to evidence that they meet the residency test.
2. Area of Law
Family Law Legal Aid is available for the following matters:
Ancillary (financial) relief claims where there are dependent children
Child maintenance claims (except those instigated by Social Security)
Divorce / Judicial Separation / Civil partnership / nullity proceedings where there are dependent children
Residence and contact disputes
Injunctions within the family law context
Claims by a child under the Legitimacy (Jersey) Law 1973
All applicants are required to evidence that they are financially eligible for Legal Aid.
If your personal capital is below £50,000 and your personal income is below £33,000, or if you are only in receipt of Income Support you may qualify for Legal Aid
If either your capital or income exceeds the above thresholds, you will not qualify for Legal Aid.
What is the family court? guidance document:
Before attending court guidance document:
Preparing for the court hearings guidance document:
The Court hearings guidance document:
Leaflet about a McKenzie friend - non legal support in court:
You can also pay for advice from a local Advocate or Solicitor. A full list of family lawyers can be found here.
Are you eligible for Legal Aid?
The Personal Capital Limit is £50,000 and the Personal Income Limit is £33,000.
Capital includes property (including the equity in any property, whether in Jersey or elsewhere), savings and investments.
Where assets are jointly owned (e.g. property, savings accounts), 50% of the total value should be included in the capital calculation.
Income includes your gross employment income (before any deductions are made for tax or social security), pensions, benefits (including Income Support), investment income or interest and maintenance payments.
The Legal Aid Office may require you to provide evidence of your capital and income e.g. pay slips, mortgage statements, bank statements, income support assessments.
Where Legal Aid has been granted in family and civil matters, applicants with total income above £20,000 will be required to contribute towards the cost of their legal representation on the following basis:
Up to £20,000
£20,001 - £24,000
£24,001 - £28,000
£28,001 - £33,000
Legal Aid will not be granted where an applicant’s total income (from all sources) exceeds £33,000 (other than where an individual is only in receipt of Income Support).
The value of Income Support payments (other than in relation to rent paid directly to Andium Homes or to a private landlord) will be included in the assessment of total income, which will be used to calculate personal contributions.
Where Legal Aid is granted, you will be advised what your personal contribution level will be (i.e. 10%, 20% or 30%) and how much you will have to pay, on a monthly basis, towards the cost of your legal representation.
Legal Aid may be withdrawn if you do not pay the required monthly contributions.
Domestic abuse or violence
Claims where there are no dependent children will be eligible (subject to financial and residency criteria being met) in circumstances where a civil injunction has been granted and/or criminal prosecution has been instigated on the grounds of domestic abuse or violence.
Family Law Legal Aid is not available for the following matters:
You do not qualify for Family Legal Aid?
Ancillary (financial) relief claims where there are no dependent children
Divorce / judicial separation/ civil partnership dissolution / nullity proceedings where there are no dependent children
Child maintenance claims instigated by Social Security.
Enforcement of maintenance orders / arrears of maintenance
Claims under the Legitimacy (Jersey) Law 1973 (except where the claim is by a child)
Pre or post nuptial agreements
Separation Agreements where there are no dependent children
General guidance for litigants in person
Family Law Services
Please click here to see a full list of law firms that offer Family Law Services and Clinics for individuals that do not qualify for Legal Aid.
Family Mediation Jersey
Family Mediation Jersey provides a mediation service that aims to help separated or divorced couples and other family members make decisions regarding finances and childcare.
Please click here to find out more: Family Mediation Jersey – The Family Resolution Service (fmj.je)
Citizens Advice Jersey
Family Division (family court proceedings)
Legal Guidance on divorce, separation and relationship breakdown
Apply for Legal Aid
Please click here to see if you are financially eligible