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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.
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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.
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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.
Even though hiding money in a divorce can have serious consequences and can result in a penalty, there are those who are willing to take that risk. Divorce financial settlement negotiations can only really begin once both parties have fully disclosed their assets and finances to each other.
While the vast majority of people do reveal the full extent of their financial situation to their spouse in order to work towards a settlement which is fair to both sides, this is not always the case. We look closer at what to do if someone is hiding money in a divorce and what the penalty for hiding assets in a divorce would be.
During divorce proceedings, both parties are expected to make full and frank disclosure of their finances. Hiding money in a divorce goes directly against this principle.
Both parties being open and honest about their financial situation can help to ensure that negotiations are effective and increase the chance of reaching a solution without the expense of having to go to court. If one party is hiding money in a divorce, this could result in negotiations breaking down and court being the only option.
If this happens, both parties will be ordered by the court to fully disclose their finances and assets.
A Form E is a detailed document which is used to set out information about the financial position of both spouses. Courts require a Form E if you make an application regarding financial matters as a result of divorce. However, many divorce solicitors will ask you to fill this in, even if you are not intending to involve the courts, as it ensures that each party is providing the same level of detail about their finances.
Questions on this form cover everything from assets to income and debt.
In financial remedy proceedings, both parties have a duty of full and frank disclosure of their finances and assets.
If the court believes that one party is hiding money in a divorce, there are a number of different remedies the court has available to it. For example, if your spouse is hiding money in a divorce, the court may make a court order on the basis that a certain amount of money is available, despite what your spouse has chosen to reveal.
If you think your spouse is hiding money in a divorce, you must raise your concerns with your solicitor as early on as possible in the process so they can take the necessary action. The sooner you seek legal advice about your spouse hiding money, the better.
If a case is closed and the court later discovers that someone was hiding money in a divorce, the case could be reopened, and the financial order could potentially be changed.
The only way to ensure that every couple has a divorce financial settlement which is fair to both parties is to ensure that each party fully discloses their assets and finances as part of the financial settlement negotiations. This is known as full and frank disclosure. The penalty for hiding assets in divorce in the UK will depend on what is appropriate in each case.
If your spouse is found to be hiding money in a divorce, the court could punish them in a number of different ways. One penalty is being ordered to pay the legal costs of the other party. The person hiding the assets may also receive a less favourable financial settlement than they would have been awarded otherwise.
As well as the penalty for hiding assets in divorce in the UK, the court also has the power to ensure the assets are included in the financial settlement.
In addition, if the court discovers at a future date that one party did not disclose all of their assets, it has the power to reopen the case and make changes to the original financial order.
What’s more, the penalty for hiding could include the ‘guilty’ party ending up with a criminal record and maybe even a prison sentence.
There are various different penalties for hiding assets in divorce, and if the court finds that one party has concealed assets, it will decide on a punishment which it considers adequate in the circumstances (more on this below).
It is vital to seek advice from a solicitor as quickly as possible if you suspect that your spouse may be concealing assets from you or organising the disposal of assets.
A solicitor will be able to tell you what steps you should take to stop your spouse disposing of assets. They’ll also be able to ensure that the assets your spouse is attempting to hide are taken into account by the court when it is making a financial order.
There are various provisions that courts can use under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 in order to stop your spouse transferring assets, or to order assets to be transferred back if they have already been transferred.
When looking for hidden funds the court has the power to:
Yes – you are able to gather evidence, but only within the confines of the law. It is important that you go about collecting the information in the right way and avoid inadvertently committing a criminal offence which could result in you going to prison. You need to also be aware of any relevant civil laws so you don’t end up being sued for damage.
Many of the methods you would need to undertake to find out if your spouse is hiding money in a divorce, such as hacking into your spouse’s email account or breaking into their filing cabinet, are illegal. By trying to investigate yourself, you could find yourself at risk of both criminal and civil sanctions.
Before you start gathering evidence of your spouse’s hidden assets it’s a good idea to get legal advice to make sure you don’t fall foul of any criminal or civil laws. You may also want to employ a forensic accountant to ensure smooth divorce proceedings.
Opening your spouse’s letters could be a criminal offence and is not advisable. This also goes for checking their email – and indeed their computer – without their permission.
Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, could potentially be used to keep assets hidden from a spouse.
As cryptocurrencies are, by their very nature, virtual, there are no real bank accounts to disclose to a spouse upon divorce. Cryptocurrencies are normally kept in a virtual wallet, and the anonymity that these currencies allow may be attractive for those who are wanting to hide money.
No. If your spouse was hiding assets during your divorce and you’ve only just found out then the case can be reopened and a new financial order made. This applies even if your divorce has already gone through.
The courts place a huge amount of importance on full, open and honest financial disclosure during the divorce process and take any attempt to hide assets very seriously. If you suspect that your spouse may be trying to hide assets then it is important that you speak to a specialist solicitor as soon as possible so that any necessary action can be taken.
For more information on this subject please visit our Legal Library.
If possible, it is usually recommended that divorcing couples reach an agreement regarding the financial settlement without going to court. This is because the court process can be both lengthy and costly.
Some couples are able to reach an agreement between themselves. Indeed, it is perfectly possible to decide on a financial settlement without advice from a solicitor. However, it is highly recommended that legal advice is sought, so that you have a good idea of what may be considered a fair and reasonable division of your finances, in your situation.
Other couples may consider various methods to help them to reach an agreement, such as collaborative law (this involves four-way meetings between you, your spouse and your respective solicitors) or mediation.
If you do reach an agreement outside of court, it is usually recommended that a court order called a consent order is obtained, so that your agreement can be made legally binding.
Our expert family law solicitors can help you with a range of legal issues relating to fair divorce settlements, including:
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