We help make the financial side of getting a divorce as simple as possible, whilst retaining what you deserve.
Our international divorce lawyers regularly advise on cases involving complex international aspects.
The breakdown of a relationship can often be a difficult and emotional time. Our separation and divorce lawyers support and offer advice on pre-civil partnership agreements, post-civil partnership agreements, civil partnership dissolution, and finances when a civil partnership ends.
Our family law solicitors are experienced in providing support for families experiencing difficult changes in their lives, including breakdowns in relationships and changes to family life.
At Austin Kemp, we’re here to help. Find out more about the divorce process, and other key information with our vast resource section.
Our industry-first Divorce Report combines numerous data sources and internal research, to bring you this specialist report.
Our expert divorce lawyers have listed questions which are commonly asked by our clients, to which we have provided an answer.
Our legal videos break down the complexity and jargon within our profession.
Our Legal Brochures detail the process for each area of Family Law. Download your brochure and learn more about what is involved in this complicated legal topic.
Our Legal Experts have written insights to help you navigate divorce and family law.
Thoroughly excellent service provided via Wikivorce. Was slightly apprehensive of how it would all work, especially at a distance. However, they were swift, efficient, immensely polite, accurate, and gave regular updates. I would recommend them to anyone.
Can't fault my experience in any way. Brilliant advice / available at short notice for any questions and most importantly swiftly achieved the desired result. Found Austin Kemp after feeling HCB Solicitors were not acting in my best interests and I was correct on all fronts - even including having an appreciation for the fact Divorce is already emotional situation. Also, rather than have to query every suggested next step and be charged for the pleasure; As I'd done a little research of my own and was able to challenge their advice - however we pay Solicitors for their expertise and need to put our trust in them. Austin Kemp thankfully achieved that for me during our first conversation I was already reassured they understood what I wanted and how best to achieve it. Resulting in 7-8 months less work and no court appearances as I had been previously advised by HCB. I THANK YOU DEARLY AUSTIN KEMP. I can start my life again earlier and with a healthier bank balance because of you!!!
Amazing service. For the first time in nearly two years I feel less in a spiral and more in control.
Thoroughly professional, straightforward, timely and reasonably priced. I would recommend this firm to anyone. Thank you Emma and Austen Kemp for a great service.
Thank you so much. You were great. I wasted so much time and money with my previous solicitors and only regret I did not contact you earlier. I have dropped a line to Paul to thank him for referring me to you. I hope you enjoyed the red I sent you as a token of our appreciation.
Austin Kemp provides a pragmatic and honest approach to the individual's journey through Family Law issues. They demonstrate a willingness and capacity to respond to challenging and unpredictable circumstances. The professional, yet personal, service is naturally client centred, but with a realistic and informed view of children's needs. And it has been heartening to have such a caring team walk beside me in the long journey.
I cannot recommend highly enough Austin Kemp as a strong, commercially intelligent and the most effective negotiators. Their negotiation skills are second to none. I have seen firsthand the excellent results this team achieves for their clients.
Just want to say thanks so much for everything. You have been brilliant and very patient. I always felt comfortable calling when asking to clarify certain points of the divorce.
I can honestly say that I am more than satisfied with the management of my case and of my then state of mind. I highly recommend this firm. Thank you.
Amandeep Kooner was not prepared to be swayed from a path of professionalism to accommodate my anxiety and frustration. He would not succumb to taking instructions tit for tat response. He ensured at all times that the response he gave reflected a dignified client with a pleasant demeanour. In so doing he demonstrated his commitment to protect and secure my interests and dignity off which I am most grateful.
Although he has a dual approached role which is business and a duty of care, Amandeep Kooner showed concerns for the level of expenditure that I had already put out with no resolve. His team contained the work to the minimum and produced the maximum results. My case was quickly progressed without compromising compassion and understanding.
Very professional service! Explained everything they were doing for my case every step of the way and really helped me to understand how we would proceed. Thank you!
Intellectually bright, hardworking and extremely professional - Amandeep Kooner took my case at it most difficult as I had come to the end of my ability to remain calm and patient. Up until I instructed Austin Kemp, I had lost all hope that any solicitor could convince me in pursuing a non-retaliatory approach as I was losing ground to allegations and fabrications. Tough, hardworking and extremely professional.
However, it is not the case that every in marriage breakdown there is someone at fault. In some cases, the marriage breaks down through no fault of the parties. It has been suggested for many years that in situations like this, there should be an option for a “no fault divorce”, rather than having to apportion blame or wait for a minimum period of two years post separation.
Austin Kemp examines the current law, the leading case which lead to reform and the bill currently making its way through Parliament which is set to provide the biggest shake up of the law in relation to divorce in decades.
Currently there is only one ground for divorce in England and Wales, that is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. This must be evidenced by using one of five facts, listed below:
2. Unreasonable behaviour;
3. 2 years separation with the consent of both parties;
4. 5 years separation without consent;
It is therefore the case that if there is no one to blame for the breakdown of the marriage, the parties are required to have been separated for a minimum of 2 years in order to bring their marriage to an end.
If they do not wish to wait for this period, the only option available to them is for someone to “take the blame”. This involves one party petitioning for divorce on the basis of the other party’s unreasonable behaviour – the Petitioner must show the Court that the Respondent’s behaviour is such that he/she cannot be reasonably expected to live with them. Both parties should be advised by their respective solicitors that the allegations should be kept as mild as possible while still achieving the desired outcome and that allegations made will not usually have any bearing on any financial settlement. Despite this, it is very often the case that the party who is the Respondent feels aggrieved by the fact that they are “to blame” for the divorce.
The 2018 Supreme Court case of Owens v Owens highlighted an important issue in relation to the current divorce legislation. In this case, Mrs Owens had petitioned for divorce based on Mr Owens’ unreasonable behaviour. However, Mr Owens defended the petition on the basis that the examples of behaviour in the petition were not sufficient to satisfy the legal test – that Mrs Owens could no longer be reasonably expected to live with him.
While the Court accepted that the marriage had broken down irretrievably, ultimately it was found that Mrs Owens had not satisfied the legal test and therefore her petition was dismissed.
Mrs Owens appealed this decision to the Court of Appeal and eventually to the Supreme Court. On both occasions her appeal was dismissed. Mrs Owens was therefore denied a divorce and will have to wait until she has been separated from her husband for 5 years in order to petition without his consent.
While the Supreme Court dismissed Mrs Owens’ appeal, concern was expressed as the judges felt uneasy about the outcome. However, it is not their job to create new law, only to interpret the statute passed by Parliament. They therefore invited Parliament to consider making amendments to the current legislation.
Following the Court’s decision, the government ran a consultation entitled “Reducing family conflict: Reform of the Legal Requirements of Divorce”. Over 3,000 responses were received to the consultation with two major organisations working in family law, Relate and CAFCASS, supporting the move to a no fault divorce system due to its potential to positively impact separating couples and their families.
The government responded positively to the consultation stating that, “where these legal safeguards are met, we propose that a statement to the court from one party to a marriage that the marriage has irretrievably broken down should be sufficient on its own to satisfy the legal threshold for obtaining a divorce”.
Mirroring the government’s response to the consultation, the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill was introduced to Parliament in order to change the current law relating to divorce by introducing a “no fault divorce”. While the Bill survived the attempted Prorogation of Parliament by the Conservative administration due to the Supreme Court’s decision that it was unlawful, it was lost during the Dissolution of Parliament for the 2019 General Election. However, on 7th January 2020 the Ministry of Justice announced that the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill will once again be considered by Parliament.
The primary aim of the bill is to introduce the following framework to amend the current legislation in relation to divorce. However some elements of the current legislation will be retained:
1. The irretrievable breakdown of the marriage will remain as the only ground for divorce in England and Wales, however it is proposed that this could be demonstrated by a statement from one party confirming the marriage has broken down irretrievably. This would remove the requirement to prove one of the five facts currently in force;
2. There will be provision introduced for parties to make an joint application for divorce;
3. It will no longer be possible to contest an application for divorce other than on the basis of jurisdiction, validity of the marriage, fraud, coercion or procedural compliance;
4. A minimum time frame for proceedings will be introduced. The time frame will be as follows – 20 weeks from petition to Decree Nisi and 6 weeks from Decree Nisi to Decree Absolute;
5. The two stage process of Decree Nisi and Decree Absolute will remain;
6. Parties will still be unable to divorce in the first year of marriage;
7. The language used throughout the process will be modernised.
It is hoped that there will be significant cross-party support for this bill and, although Brexit is very much the focus of the Government at this time, the bill has not been lost.
It should also be noted that the reforms contained within the bill are intended to be replicated in relation to dissolution of civil partnerships and judicial separation proceedings.
The change in legislation is likely to impact divorcing couples in a positive way. It will reduce the animosity which can easily build when someone is forced to take the blame by allowing couples to work together to amicably end their marriage.
This in turn should mean that the costs in divorce cases will be reduced – animosity and lack of agreement is one of the main reasons for increased legal costs. By removing the requirement of blame, parties should be able to divorce without increasing each other’s costs.
Finally, removing the potential arguments from the divorce process means that couples can focus on resolving ancillary matters such as their financial settlement and child arrangements. The importance of these matters can sometimes get lost during arguments around the divorce. Further, it is likely that parties will be able to achieve more amicable agreements in relation to these ancillary matters due to the fact that they have not built a wall of resentment towards the other party from allegations made in the divorce petition.
At Austin Kemp, we are fully supportive of these reforms to divorce legislation. We hope that by removing the requirement of blame, more couples can have an amicable divorce and focus on resolving their finances and child arrangements to enable both parties to move on with their lives as quickly as possible and with minimal upheaval to their families.
It’s a topic that has been bubbling away under the surface for many years, with lawyers and divorcing couples alike frustrated at having to apportion blame as part of the divorce process. Now, with no-fault divorce set to become a reality, we take a closer look at no-fault divorce and explain what the biggest shake up of divorce law in decades could mean for you.
No-fault divorce is a divorce process which does not require wrongdoing of either party to be proved in order to get a divorce.
As it stands at the moment, the divorce system is fundamentally fault based and requires evidence of guilt.
If no-one is to blame for the irretrievable breakdown of a marriage (a prerequisite for divorce), couples who want a divorce have to wait a minimum of 2 years of separation (if both parties agree) or 5 years (no agreement from the other party necessary), in order to get a divorce.
If a couple don’t want to wait for a divorce, one party would have to be willing to “take the blame”, even though they may not feel at fault for the marriage breaking down.
There is currently no option for a no-fault divorce, unless you are willing to wait.
No-fault divorce should help to put an end to the “blame game” it’s currently necessary to play if a couple want to get a divorce.
When a relationship breaks down, emotions will inevitably run high and often, one or both parties will feel that the other is at fault in some way. However, having to cite the wrongdoing of an ex on a divorce petition and give reasons as to why they are to blame for the breakdown of the marriage, often only results in increased tension, even in the most amicable of breakups.
Many people believe that the current system serves to stoke the fire of animosity between divorcing couples, potentially causing more problems when it comes to negotiating the financial settlement or making child arrangements.
By not requiring wrongdoing of either party to be shown, no-fault divorce will hopefully help to reduce conflict and make the divorce process something that people who no longer want to be with each other are working together, rather than against each other, to achieve.
The new Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill will mean that a couple can cite “irretrievable breakdown” as the only grounds for desiring a divorce. This can be done together via a joint statement, or individually. No proof of bad behaviour will be required (which is why it is known as no-fault divorce).
Many believe that no fault divorce will bring divorce law in England and Wales more in line with how modern society views divorce. Divorce now does not have the stigma attached to it that it once did.
Keep reading our blog for updates about the new no-fault divorce laws currently making their way through parliament.
Our expert family law solicitors can help you with a range of legal issues relating to divorce, including:
For more information call our divorce solicitors on 0845 862 5001 or email email@example.com.
Our expert family law solicitors offer a nationwide service. We have client meeting office facilities available, in order to have face-to-face client meetings / conferences as and when required in:
Leeds Office: St Andrew House, The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 5JW
Wakefield Office: Market Walk, Wakefield, WF1 1QR
Halifax Office: Old Lane, Halifax, HX3 5WP
Huddersfield Office: Northumberland Street Huddersfield, HD1 1RL
Coventry Office: Warwick Road, Coventry, CV1 2DY
Canary Wharf Office: 25 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5LB
Please contact us for more details.