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Divorce Solicitors | Halifax


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We are Austin Kemp Solicitors – specialist divorce solicitors with client meeting offices located in Halifax. We focus on complex finance divorce cases. By delivering strategic advice which is high quality, focused and consistently excellent we maintain an outstanding success record.

To learn more about our expert approach to divorce law – click here.

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Dealing with divorce

Any good solicitor will take your case to court as a last resort. There are many other ways to try and reach a settlement before committing to the expense of court.

You could try things such as mediation (an independent third party there to aid discussion) or collaborative law (where you, your spouse and both of your solicitors meet and try to negotiate a settlement) or you could ask your solicitor to negotiate for you.

if nothing else works or your spouse is unwilling to be reasonable during negotiations then you can take your case to court. You could also go to court if your spouse refuses to give out any financial information.

Even if you do go to court, if you and your spouse reach an agreement about your settlement at any point then the case can stop. You don’t have to wait and let the judge decide. Family arbitration (where you pay someone to decide your settlement for you) is another alternative to court if negotiations aren’t successful. This is especially useful if you are a high net worth individual and you don’t want your settlement to be made public, or if you are worried about the press, as this process is completely confidential.

Deciding whether or not to stay in the family home during divorce proceedings is very much a personal decision. Your spouse cannot make you leave the family home – this is true even if only one of you owns or rents the home.

It is important to obtain specialist legal advice if you are thinking of a divorce or if your spouse is asking you to leave. If only one of you owns the home then it is important to get legal advice to make sure they don’t sell the home without your knowledge while you’re still married.

If you are married the only way one of you can be forced to leave is through a court order. If you do decide to leave the family home, your spouse is not allowed to change the locks until the future of the home has been agreed.

This means that if you want to move out then you should be allowed back into the home to collect your belongings or for many other reasons.

Austin Kemp’s team of specialist solicitors are experienced in providing legal advice to high net worth individuals who find themselves in this situation.

Getting a divorce can take varying amounts of time, depending on its level of complexity.

The time it takes depends mostly on how easily you and your spouse can reach an agreement on various issues and how busy the court systems are. Generally, we say that a divorce takes around four to six months but can take much longer.

A divorce does not usually take place until all the finances have been agreed. This is where the arguments can stretch out for a significant amount of time, lengthening the process, if you both cannot reach an agreement. This is especially the case if either or both individuals have a significant amount of wealth and assets.

Once the respondent has been served with the petition (this can be done by process servers if they refuse) then the decree nisi can be applied for. If the grounds of the petition are accepted the decree nisi will then be pronounced in court. The court will then make an order in relation to finances and once this is agreed the decree absolute will be applied for. It is when the decree absolute is finalised that the divorce takes place. The decree absolute has to be applied for at least 6 weeks and 1 day after the decree nisi is pronounced but this can take much longer if there is a complex financial settlement, for example if you are a high net worth individual with pension funds and investments spread out across the world.

It is possible to use a process called arbitration to settle the financial claims of your divorce. Arbitration essentially 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.

Your spouse’s conduct can be taken into account by the court, but only with regards to your divorce itself. Conduct will not generally be taken into account when it comes to deciding your finances.

In England and Wales there is no such thing as a ‘no blame’ divorce. You must establish that there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.

To show that this irretrievable breakdown has occurred (and for you to be granted your divorce) you have to prove that one of five things has happened – either unreasonable behaviour, adultery, separation for more than two years (with consent), separation for five years (without consent) or desertion.

You will need to present the court with evidence that one of these five things has happened in order to prove that an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage has occurred. Without evidence in one of these categories you will not be able to divorce.

Generally, throughout the proceedings, the court will only take your spouse’s conduct into account in circumstances where it is so extreme that the court cannot ignore it. This will be the case in only very limited circumstances. If you are unsure whether your spouse’s behaviour is extreme enough for the court to take it into account then it is best to talk to your solicitor to get independent legal advice.

However, if your spouse’s conduct is bad with regards to the actual litigation process then the court could order them to contribute to your costs. For example, if they are not responding to court orders or are somehow purposefully holding up the process then the court may take this into account and you could be awarded some money towards your legal costs.

If you started the divorce proceedings you are known as the petitioner. You can ask that your spouse pay the costs if you are the petitioner. You are only allowed to ask for the costs to cover the divorce itself and you will not be allowed to ask for costs with regards to the financial side of the divorce.

If you are the petitioner and want the respondent to pay your costs then you will need to apply to the court for an order to make the respondent do so. It is important to let your solicitor know at the start of the divorce proceedings if you wish to do this.

Going through a divorce is a very difficult time for both parties involved. It can be a time of high stress levels and can also be emotional. It may be worth balancing out how much upset asking the respondent to pay the legal costs would cause against how much the money would be worth to you.

It is sometimes the case that the court does not need to be involved in your financial arrangements with regards to your divorce if you are able to negotiate and agree to the terms between yourselves. If you were to claim the divorce costs from the respondent through court then this could make them less willing to negotiate with you.

As always, it is important to get independent legal advice before making your decision.

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.

My finances and divorce

If you or your ex-partner can’t pay the maintenance payments in your financial order then you can go to court and try to vary it. The court will consider not only your and your previous partner’s needs but also the needs of any children.

As well as varying a maintenance order it is also possible to turn it into a lump sum instead of smaller payments. This is called capitalisation of financial orders. Some people prefer this as it enables them to move on. It is important to note that not all financial orders can be varied. For example, lump sum or property adjustment orders cannot be varied unless they are paid in instalments.

Before going to court it is important to attempt to re-negotiate the order with your previous spouse’s solicitors. A variation or capitalisation of a financial order can be a relatively quick process if the initial negotiations are successful. Alternatively, it can take much longer if we need to take it to court.

If you do go to court, you can apply to vary the order on various grounds such as mistake, material non-disclosure, fraud or misrepresentation. The more you want to change the order (the bigger the change is) the more chance you have of the court varying the order.

If your ex-partner does not comply with the financial order then a variation of the order can be sought through the courts. Alternatively there are other remedies in English and Welsh law and abroad if the other party will not co-operate with the order.

There are various enforcement methods available to you if your ex-partner will not co-operate with the order. These include a charging order (attempting to attach a charge against land), attachment of earnings (money can be deducted from the payer’s salary), a third party debt order (attempting to seize money) and warrants of possession or execution (seize goods or secure possession of premises).

It is imperative that you seek legal advice as soon as possible if your previous partner is not complying with the financial order. Any maintenance payments that haven’t been paid for more than twelve months since the enforcement order was made could be written off. It is also worth noting that you may be due interest at a rate of 8% on any unpaid capital payment over £5,000.

Before going to court, it is best to talk to your partner first to try and get them to comply with the order. If this doesn’t work, your solicitors should attempt to negotiate with your ex-partner’s solicitors to reach an agreement outside of court. Only if these things don’t work should you then go to court as this can be a lengthy and expensive process.

Deciding whether to negotiate your financial settlement yourself or get your solicitor to negotiate for you is a big decision for many people. As with everything, there are both advantages and disadvantages.

One of a few downsides to getting a solicitor to negotiate your financial settlement on your behalf is expense. Depending on your situation, negotiations can take a long time. As most solicitors charge by the hour this can end up running into a large bill. However, a good solicitor negotiating on your behalf can help you get the settlement that you want. Some solicitors will also offer fixed fee negotiations.

Sometimes, solicitor negotiations can make things more difficult and tense between you and your spouse. A specialist solicitor should be able to keep this to a minimum through effective negotiations.

You could also feel that you have lost control of your settlement if your solicitor is doing your negotiations for you. If you hire a good solicitor then they should make sure that you still have input into and control of the negotiations and indeed the divorce process as a whole. Austin Kemp’s experienced solicitors can talk you through the pros and cons to help you make the right decision for you.

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.

During the stressful time of the relationship break-up the party with control of the finances may simply refuse to pay the other party any more money or take away their use of the joint credit card. This can leave one party with no money to pay their legal fees or even their living expenses.

In this situation, a vast majority of solicitors would advise the party who has cut the other party off that they should, indeed they have an obligation to, pay them some money. This is not always well received and sometimes the other party refuses the money because they think it’s not enough.

If your partner has cut you off financially then you may need to go to court. Maintenance pending suit applications (when the matter goes to court) must be made after the main proceedings have already been issued. Maintenance pending suit applications are mainly used in the context of divorce proceedings but can sometimes be used in other cases. An order can be made by the court that the paying party must pay the other’s legal fees or must pay the other party an amount of money per month.

The standard of living enjoyed during the marriage as well as both parties’ resources and their needs and obligations will be taken into account by the court when making a decision.

If you are in this situation then it is important to get independent legal advice as soon as possible.

Why use Austin Kemp Solicitors in Halifax for your Divorce?

We are Austin Kemp Solicitors – specialist divorce solicitors with client meeting offices located in Halifax (HX3 5WP). We focus on complex finance divorce cases. By delivering strategic advice which is high quality, focused and consistently excellent we maintain an outstanding success record.

We are committed to getting you the outcome that you want and know how important it is to be listened to. You will be assigned a specialist lawyer for your case, and they will be available to answer all of your questions and re-assure any concerns.

To learn more about our expert approach to divorce law – click here.

How can Austin Kemp Solicitors in Halifax help?

Our divorce solicitors help clients from Halifax and the surrounding area with a range of legal issues, including:

Getting specialist divorce advice our Halifax divorce solicitors can make a real difference to the outcome of your divorce settlement. Our Halifax divorce solicitors particularly specialise in advising high net worth individuals, or spouses of high net worth individuals, with international assets and investments.

After you’ve discussed the business and what you know about it with our specialist Halifax divorce solicitors, you then need to decide what you actually want to get out of the family business in your divorce settlement. Some people would prefer to have some sort of income from the business rather than become a joint owner and work with their ex-spouse on a daily basis.

However, what is right for one couple may not be right for you. Deciding what you would like to get out of the negotiations right at the beginning, whilst bearing in mind what the courts would think was fair, can lead to successful negotiations and no need to go to court. It is worth bearing in mind that if you do just want to receive a share of the business’ income through maintenance, then you will lose your right to the maintenance when you re-marry.

Should I instruct my own accountant to value the business during my divorce?

The court may request that an independent professional should value your business as part of the financial settlement on divorce. You can, however, ask your accountant to value your business for you and advise you on issues such as how much profit you have made. If you would like your accountant to value your business independently of the court appointed professional, then you should get specialist legal advice from our Halifax divorce solicitors before making any decisions.

Our Halifax divorce solicitors specialise in advising high net worth individuals, or spouses of high net worth individuals, throughout the divorce process. We understand the complexities a family business can bring to a divorce settlement and can advise you of your options and whether you need to take any immediate action.

After obtaining independent legal advice, you should, if possible, discuss your settlement with your spouse to try and reach an agreement. You can also try things such as mediation or solicitor to solicitor negotiations before taking your case to court, which can be time consuming and costly, especially when there are complex business issues involved. Our Halifax divorce solicitors are highly skilled in negotiating with your spouse’s solicitor in order to get you the best possible outcome.

Our Halifax divorce solicitors are located in the heart of Halifax.

We are located in a refurbished historic mill in an excellent business and cultural complex off the A58 part of the Dean Clough Mills estate. Our Halifax divorce solicitors are centrally located in Halifax.

Our Halifax divorce solicitors specialise in high net worth divorce and family breakdown cases. Our wealth of legal and business knowledge and experience allows us to apply a direct no-nonsense commercial approach to your case to achieve your objectives.

Our divorce solicitors in Halifax specialise in high net worth divorce, civil partnership dissolution, pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements, cohabitation agreements, domestic violence, child contact orders, residence (including relocation issues) and child abduction.

Halifax Office: Old Lane, Halifax, HX3 5WP.

Contact Number: 01422 400085

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