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Specialist Divorce Solicitors Ascot

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With a 92% success record, we're a prominent specialist law firm that works closely with our clients to get their fair share.

We understand that clients want straightforward, practical legal advice from people they trust.

We provide strategic family law advice, which is high quality, focused and consistently excellent. As a result, we maintain an outstanding 92% success record.

Find out how we can help you, call us on 0333 311 0925 or email us today.

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92% Success Rate

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    Contact Us 01344 830 185

    We are always happy to talk to you about any legal concern you may have regarding divorce and family law.  We understand divorce law, so you don’t have to, and our expert lawyers are great listeners who will understand your situation.


    Life is rarely fair – we believe divorce law should be.

    •  We deliver quality legal services
    •  We listen and communicate
    •  We act by agreed instructions
    •  We meet or exceed expectations always
    •  We deliver to agreed timelines and budgets


    We are able to arrange a consultation with you via telephone, Zoom Call or in person.

    We can offer you legal support and advice wherever you live in England and Wales. Choose the location closest to you to get more information on how to contact us.


    Deciding to end a marriage by beginning divorce proceedings is often a painful and difficult time.

    During this time emotions can run high. This is why it is important to seek specialist independent legal advice as soon as possible.

    By getting the right advice early on in the process you can take control of the situation and gain what can often be reassuring legal advice on where you stand with regards to finances or what will happen to your children.

    Thinking about the issue further and not acting can cause you to feel like you have no control over the situation and can end in you feeling more distressed emotionally.

    Although it makes no difference in English and Welsh law whether you or your spouse files for the divorce, this is not so in other jurisdictions.

    This makes it especially important to obtain legal advice as soon as possible if another country’s jurisdiction may have a say in your case, especially if you are a high net worth individual.

    Being the petitioner rather than the respondent in this instance may make all the difference.

    You could decide to complete the divorce proceedings yourself. However, this can often end in frustration and arguments between spouses and neither getting the outcome they desired or deserved.

    You may find that the fees you pay to your solicitor are easily paid back in the better settlement you achieve.

    Using a solicitor also means that a divorce should be less stressful because you shouldn’t be dealing with the day-to-day issues.

    No solicitor will pressure you to make up your mind – we are there to give advice and to guide you through the process should you wish to proceed.

    The length of time it takes to get a divorce can vary from each case. Once the respondent has been served the petition then the decree nisi can be applied for and, as long as the grounds for divorce are accepted, the decree nisi can then be pronounced in court.

    When the finances have been finalised, then a decree absolute can be applied for. When you have your decree absolute, you are officially divorced.

    The decree absolute cannot be applied for less than 6 weeks and 1 day after the decree nisi has been pronounced in court.

    If you or your spouse is a high net worth individual with international investments and pension funds then this process could take much longer, as your financial settlement will potentially be highly complex.

    Austin Kemp’s experienced team of solicitors specialise in advising high net worth individuals through the divorce process.

    Availability of court dates can also slow the process down, meaning that there is rarely only 6 weeks and 1 day between the decree nisi and the decree absolute.

    From start (the matrimonial order application or petition) to finish (the decree absolute), divorces usually take around 6 months. This figure can vary greatly depending on the complexity of your situation including your finances and childcare arrangements.

    Divorce can be an upsetting and highly stressful time and emotions can often run high. If you feel that you and your partner are able to negotiate the terms of your divorce settlement yourselves, without the help of a solicitor, then you are of course able to do this.

    Some couples, however, find that it helps if someone else can negotiate for them, as negotiations between themselves involve highly charged emotions and can often end in arguments.

    If you do decide to negotiate between yourselves it is always a good idea to have a meeting with a specialist solicitor, such as Austin Kemp, so that you fully understand your legal rights and what you could expect in a divorce settlement.

    It also enables you to make sure that you’re doing everything correctly so that no claims can be made against you by your ex-spouse in the future. Instructing a solicitor to negotiate on your behalf could relieve some of the pressure in this already stressful time.

    Legal advice is even more important if you or your spouse are high net worth individuals with international assets and pension funds. Austin Kemp can advise you on how to proceed and, if necessary, can advise you on any proceedings in international courts.

    The cost of the divorce itself is usually quite small compared to what it can cost to separate your finances.

    If your spouse contests the petition this could increase the cost of your divorce proceedings. However, this is not especially common.

    Potentially, where most of your costs will lie is in the separation of your finances. Sometimes it is possible to agree your finances with your spouse relatively quickly and therefore your costs will be quite small.

    This can be done between yourselves, through solicitors or through some form of mediation. However, if you cannot agree and end up going to court then your costs can rise rapidly.

    You can only go to court to resolve your finances once the divorce petition has been issued. Both parties will need to make a full disclosure of their financial situation.

    Usually, up to three hearings will take place: the First Directions Appointment, the Financial Dispute Resolution and then the final hearing.

    The purpose of the first hearing is to decide if you or your spouse need any further information, or if the court needs any further information, before the negotiations can begin.

    At the second hearing (the FDR) the judge indicates what they think is fair and both parties are encouraged to reach an agreement. Most cases are settled at this stage.

    If both parties cannot agree then the final hearing will take place and the judge will give the final order after both parties have given their evidence.

    It is worth noting that what is seen as fair in one case may not be fair in another and, although the judge must take into account the factors in Section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, it is case law that provides guidance on the interpretation on this.

    Both you and your spouse can claim for income, capital and pension provision. The more complex your financial situation the more lengthy the process can be and the more the costs can rise.

    It’s a huge help when you’re getting a divorce to understand your rights. You may feel that you and your spouse could administer the divorce proceedings yourselves and in England and Wales the law does allow you to do this.

    Most people see this as a way to save money by not paying solicitors.

    However, by not getting legal advice as to your rights and what you could expect your divorce settlement to look like, it could actually end up costing you more money.

    With specialist legal advice you are able to effectively negotiate with your partner, whether you choose to negotiate the terms between yourselves or involve a mediator.

    This can help to make you feel more confident and in control in what is an emotional and unsettling time. Even if you choose not to take the advice you received from a solicitor it will give you a better understanding of, for example, what you are entitled to with regards to maintenance payments.

    Administering a divorce entirely alone and without the advice of a solicitor can also result in problems in years to come if finances haven’t been settled properly.

    If you or your spouse are high net worth individuals with complex finances then legal advice is even more important, so that you get the settlement that you’re entitled to.

    Divorce Financial Proceedings

    Before you can take your case to court to commence divorce financial proceedings both you and your spouse could, in certain circumstances, have to meet with a mediator.

    This independent third party is there to aid discussions between you and your spouse.

    There are some situations where meeting with a mediator before commencing divorce financial proceedings at court is not obligatory, such as if there’s been domestic abuse between you and your spouse.

    A good solicitor will help you prepare for the mediation by discussing with you the outcomes you would like to achieve.

    An experienced solicitor will also be able to talk you through the likelihood of your case ending up in court.

    If mediation doesn’t work or if it’s decided that mediation isn’t appropriate for you, you will then need to fill in a C100 form before you go to court. This form shows that you and your spouse have considered mediation.

    Austin Kemp specialise in helping high net worth individuals through this process and understand the complexities international assets and investments can add to the divorce process, especially when it comes to negotiating the financial settlement when dealing with financial proceedings.

    Getting the right, specialist legal advice early on can make a real difference to the outcome of your case.

    It is important to try to discuss this with your partner before taking the matter to court. Some couples can come to an agreement between themselves on who pays the school fees or who pays what percentage of the school fees.

    If you cannot come to an agreement with your partner then you can get a school fees order during your financial divorce settlement.

    When a marriage breaks down and there are children involved the court’s primary consideration is their welfare and needs. If one parent is taking the majority of responsibility for the childcare then the other parent must make payments towards the upkeep of the children.

    Child financial provision is usually decided by the court at the same time as the other finances are decided.

    This is generally the case if the parent not taking the majority of responsibility for the childcare will probably be paying over the minimum amount of support required because they are more wealthy than the parent that is responsible for the majority of the childcare.

    This is when who pays how much of the school fees will be decided.

    The court will look at factors such as whether the child already goes to a private school or it was expected that they’d go to a private school.

    Another factor the court could take into account is that private school is more common in England than in mainland Europe.

    Alternatively, you can make an application via the Children Act.

    Both parents always have financial responsibility towards their child. When two parents separate, the money that the non-resident parent pays as child maintenance goes towards the upkeep of their child.

    It is important to note that with regards to child maintenance, a child is seen as someone under the age of 16 or under the age of 19 in full-time education (not higher than A-level).

    Sometimes, an application will be made by the primary carer of the children to the Child Support Agency, soon to be replaced by the Child Maintenance Service, although it is worth noting that they are unable to make an assessment if the other parent is living abroad. Going via these two agencies will mean that you get the most basic level of child support available to you as the primary carer.

    Whether you use the Child Support Agency or the Child Maintenance service will depend on a number of things including how many children you have.

    The Child Support Agency calculates support through the other parent’s net income whereas the Child Maintenance Service calculates using the other parent’s gross income.

    It is worth noting that both of these bodies have the power to take payments directly out of income.

    If the non-resident parent is a high earner (more than £104,000 per year) then the Child Support Agency has a limited role. The court can then order what to do with regards to child maintenance.

    The process of getting a divorce can be a highly emotional experience. Sometimes, couples find it hard to talk to each other without arguing, especially when finances are discussed.

    Emotionally charged discussions can make it hard for couples to reach conclusions about their financial settlement.

    Asking a solicitor to negotiate on your behalf can take a great deal of stress out of the divorce proceedings. You will not have to discuss finances directly with your spouse, as your solicitors can do this for you, on your instruction.

    Your solicitor is also able to offer you advice throughout every part of the negotiation process, making sure that you get the best financial settlement possible.

    Sometimes, having a solicitor negotiating for you can give you that much needed distance from your spouse.

    Austin Kemp has a team of solicitors who specialise in high net worth individuals and are highly skilled in negotiating on your behalf to achieve the best possible outcome for you. If a satisfactory agreement cannot be reached then we are experienced in taking your case to court and can also advise on international court proceedings, if necessary.

    If you’ve decided that you want your solicitor to negotiate the financial side of your divorce on your behalf then your solicitor will ask you to gather information about your finances, known as financial disclosure.

    You will probably be asked to fill out a Form E with your financial information. After this, your solicitor will exchange your financial information for your spouse’s financial information.

    Once this has happened, your solicitor will give you advice and talk you through your options before you decide what you would like to aim for and what kind of settlement you wouldn’t be happy with.

    Your solicitor can then start negotiations with your spouse’s solicitor until a conclusion is reached that both you and your spouse are satisfied with.

    If you cannot reach a settlement then you may have to go to court or pay for a family arbitrator.

    Austin Kemp specialise in negotiating on behalf of high net worth individuals, or spouses of high net worth individuals, who have assets and investments around the world.

    Our experienced team are skilled in high net worth negotiations and understand how to get you the best possible outcome.

    We are also able to help if you think your spouse is hiding their assets or if your spouse thinks you have more assets than you actually do.

    Your Children and Divorce

    It can be very upsetting if a parent is stopped from seeing their children.

    If your partner will not let you see your child then the first thing to do is to try and talk to your partner about the issue and come to some sort of arrangement between yourselves. If this is not possible, then you are able to go to court and get something called a contact order.

    This is a legally enforceable document that states how often you should have contact with your child.

    The starting point for any court is the welfare of the child. This has to be paramount when looking at the logistics of a contact order and the court can take into account such things as the child’s after school activities or how far away each parent lives.

    Unless there is a very good reason to the contrary, every child should have contact with both parents.

    It is worth noting that although the contact order can be enforced where one parent stops the other from seeing the children, it does not work the other way.

    The order cannot force anyone to have the children if they do not want to see them or refuse to spend time with them.

    If either parent breaches the terms of the order and stops the other from seeing the children as per the terms of the order then it is very important to get expert legal advice from solicitors such as Austin Kemp as soon as possible.

    Sometimes, an application will be made by the primary carer of the children to the Child Support Agency, soon to be replaced by the Child Maintenance Service, although it is worth noting that they are unable to make an assessment if the other parent is living abroad.

    Going via these two agencies will mean that you get the most basic level of child support available to you as the primary carer.

    If your partner is a high earner (more than £104,000 per year) then the Child Support Agency has a limited role. The court can then order what to do with regards to child maintenance.

    If this is the case, it is important to get independent legal advice as soon as possible.

    Our specialist solicitors will negotiate the best possible outcome in court and make sure that you receive what you should over and above the minimum level of child support available from your more wealthy partner.

    Talking about your children’s future with your spouse when you are going through a divorce can be a highly emotional experience.

    If you can, try to sit down together and discuss how each of you envisage what will happen to your children after you separate.

    Who will they live with? How often will the other parent see them? Although these are tough conversations, especially at the beginning of the divorce process, you should hopefully come to an agreement that is in the best interests of the children.

    If you cannot manage to come to an agreement between yourselves, then you could try mediation (an independent third party aiding discussions) or collaborative law (where you and your spouse meet and discuss the issues with both of your solicitors present).

    It may also be worth trying some kind of counselling, either together or separately, to talk through your issues about the children and the relationship breakdown in general.

    If you still cannot reach an agreement, specialist solicitors such as Austin Kemp can advise you on how to take your case to court. Court should always be a last resort but it is sometimes necessary if no agreement can be reached.

    Divorce and the Media and Press

    Before reporting any of your family issues to the press it is essential to seek legal advice from your solicitor.

    If you go to the press with your family issues you risk breaching duties of confidence.

    These duties can either be implied or express so again, it is very important to speak to a solicitor before going to the press in case you may be breaching any of these duties.

    It is also a good idea to talk to your solicitor about what talking to the press could do to your case.

    If the press choose to publish the information you give them then it could be later brought up in court and read by the judge.

    Would this make the judge think differently about your case? Would it make him look at your case in a negative light after reading anything published in the press? This all must be considered before you make your decision about talking to the press.

    Conversely, it may be helpful that a judge has seen the information about your case published in the press.

    It could cause him to look at your case in a more positive light than he otherwise would have done without reading the information.

    Again, this has to be carefully thought about and discussed with your solicitor before any decisions are made.

    You also need to make sure that you do not end up having defamation proceedings taking place against you. If you published words or matter in a newspaper or magazine that contained something that was untrue about your partner then this could be defamation.

    If your partner is threatening to destroy your reputation by going to the press then it is very important that you seek legal advice immediately.

    The speed at which you act and instruct your solicitors is essential in a case like this. Not acting immediately could mean the difference between stopping your partner going to the press and your face being all over the morning papers.

    You are able, in certain circumstances, to restrict your partner’s freedom of expression.

    One of the grounds for restricting freedom of expression is the protection of your reputation. You can do this under the Convention of Human Rights.

    You can also protect your reputation from defamation through slander and libel. If your partner was to publish words or matter that contained something that was untrue against your reputation then this would be defamation.

    For example, this could be the case if your partner was about to publish something untrue about you, that could damage your reputation, in a magazine or newspaper.

    It is worth repeating that in this situation it is very important to get independent legal advice as quickly as possible.

    If you and your solicitor work with enough speed then you may be able to get a prohibitive injunction (to stop them publishing the material about you), sometimes without giving notice to your partner that this is happening.

    Court can be stressful enough without having to worry about the added issue of having the press there, watching your every move and reporting on the judge’s decisions to the general public.

    It is true that the press can be in attendance at most court cases. However, they will usually not bother attending court unless either you or your partner are celebrities or well known public figures.

    The press may also be interested in attending if your case is particularly interesting in the field of family law.

    There is a way around this. Just like you might choose private healthcare over the public healthcare system you can also choose to have the financial claims of your divorce or civil partnership dissolution heard in the private sector. This is known as arbitration.

    Arbitration lets you and the other party choose your own arbitrator (these are usually retired judges), your own timetable and even your own location, making the proceedings much more civilised than when using the public court system.

    This also means that you are usually able to complete the process much quicker than if you used the public court system and, unlike public courts, arbitration can completely exclude the public and the media if you want to keep your case totally private.

    Any documents given to the arbitration proceedings will also be kept completely private and you would need the court’s permission to release them.

    We are experienced in advising clients on how to deal with the press, should the need arise.

    What you can expect from Austin Kemp


    We are at the forefront of technology and education. Every staff member values personal development and we are always striving to be better, for you.

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    We listen to you, we understand your situation and advise on how we can help you. Our priorities are you, not anyone else, just you.

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    Our job is to be there when you need us. Our job is to win and to get the best outcome for you. Our reputation as a law firm depends on how we help each and every client.

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