Family Law

At Benest & Syvret we approach issues arising from family breakdown in a constructive way designed to preserve people's dignity and encourage agreements between separating parties. Our experience means that we are well placed to guide you through all of the steps involved in divorce proceedings or children matters.


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“Dear Nina, Once again you have shown that you are an excellent law firm there to help people. Thank you for everything.”

Family Law

When matters of Jersey family law arise, whether it is a question of divorce in Jersey, a division of family assets or arrangements for relocation of children, your Jersey lawyer needs to be able to:

  • Communicate effectively with his or her client
  • Be up to date with relevant case law which can change rapidly
  • Have a detailed understanding of all issues in the case from start to finish
  • Be able to provide clear and definite advice whilst being sensitive to the issues involved

Our client’s testimonials demonstrate that our Jersey Family Law team meet these requirements in every case they deal with.


"I would like to say a big thank you for your work and support and understanding dealing with this case at an incredibly difficult time for me" – Litigation client


"Philip Syvret provided an excellent service and advice and the team was friendly, helpful and efficient" – Litigation client


"Many thanks for all your help with this mater, you have been very supportive and helpful." – Family Client

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We at Benest & Syvret are very experienced in dealing with all aspects of children law.

Unmarried parents may require assistance across a range of issues from parental responsibility agreements to what are known as “Schedule One” applications which are designed to secure appropriate financial support for a child.

All parents may encounter difficulties from time to time in addressing residence issues and contact arrangements in the event of a relationship breakdown. Sadly in some cases arrangements for the children may be impacted by different parenting styles, implacable hostility, domestic abuse or substance abuse issues. Complex cases require very sensitive handling and an ability to advise parents whilst helping them to keep their child’s best interests in the forefront of any decision making process.

Residence and contact issues may be particularly thorny in the event one parent wishes to leave the Island to live elsewhere, taking the children with them. See our “leave to remove” section.

Both Advocate Benest and Advocate Robinson are members of the Children Panel and are accredited to act in public law proceedings concerning children (care proceedings). They have experience of acting for the Minister, for parents, for the Guardian and children at the centre of the proceedings and even grandparents seeking to assume care of their grandchildren.

Download parenting through separation guide


It is against the law to permanently remove a child from Jersey, if that has been his home, without the consent of every person with parental responsibility for that child, or an Order of the Court. Jersey’s residential qualification system, coupled with the fact that many people come to the Island to live and work, then settle and have children, means that in the event of a relationship breakdown a parent may decide they either want, or need, to leave the Island and move to another country.

The physical separation from a child can be a particularly painful prospect for a parent to contemplate and in such cases there are very difficult decisions to be made. Clear advice is imperative so that parents are able to make timely decisions in the best interests of their children, whilst in the midst of what can be a complex emotional and factual matrix.

We at Benest & Syvret have been involved in many such cases over the years, both for a parent making an application for leave to remove and for a parent resisting such an application.


The breakdown of a relationship inevitably involves heartache and uncertainty. The division of assets and maintenance issues can be complex matters to resolve, and require technical skill both in terms of establishing the nature and value of assets as well as an understanding of how this complex area of law is likely to impact on any given situation. Our team at Benest & Syvret has extensive experience across all financial landscapes from the so called Big Money multi-million pound cases through to the most modest cases where the assignment of debt is the focus of proceedings.

Of course the division of assets and settlement of financial arrangements do not have to happen in a Court room and indeed only a very small proportion of cases end in a final hearing before a Court. We are able to guide clients to and through the dispute resolution process that is right for them, whether it be via lawyer led negotiations, mediation, a private FDR or litigation.


There can be a myriad of reasons for couples to enter both pre and post nuptial agreements. Perhaps they are motivated by a desire to protect inherited wealth in the event of a relationship breakdown, perhaps as part of wider estate planning exercise especially where there are children from previous relationships involved.

Recent publicised cases deciding the force of such agreements have brought their existence into the public’s consciousness. However, great care around their preparation, negotiation and drafting needs to be taken as well as careful consideration of the accompanying financial disclosure that should be made and the legal advice that should be given. Our team at Benest & Syvret are fully versed in all these considerations and will be happy to advise and assist.

Key Contacts.



Nina has over has over twenty years’ experience in the legal profession in Jersey. She was sworn in as an Advocate…

Clare Woodhouse

Clare Woodhouse

Clare graduated from the University of East Anglia, with a BA in European Cultural Studies followed by a…

darry robinson

Darry Robinson

Darry is a litigator with broad experience, and has particular expertise in dispute resolution and criminal law.…

Family News and Insights

The legal guide to divorce in Jersey
Family Mediation Week 2024
Equity Agreements – ensuring fair shares when co-habitees sell up
The Common Law Spouse Myth
Children and the Unmarried Couple
Co-Habitation Agreements in Jersey
Estate Planning for Cohabitees
Domestic Abuse in Jersey

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Hill Street, St Helier, JE1 1BS
+44 (0) 1534 875 875