Posts Tagged ‘Divorce’

Importance Of Closing Down Financial Claims In A Divorce

Monday, July 3rd, 2017

[Wyatt v Vince [2015] UKSC14]

The Supreme Court allowed a wife’s claim to proceed 23 years after divorce. The parties married in 1981, separated in 1984 and they divorced in 1992 and therefore the relationship broke down 35 years ago. They had one son, Dane, and the husband treated the wife’s daughter from a previous relationship as a child of the family.

The court divorce file could not be located and therefore it is unknown as to whether any financial provision was made by way of an order at the time but there is no reason for the court to believe that the wife’s financial claims were dismissed. There is no time limit in family law for seeking orders for financial provision or property adjustment for the benefit of a spouse.

The wife made an application for financial provision in 2011 as well as interim payments to fund her legal costs. The husband then applied for her application to be struck out as he argued that it was too late for her to lodge her application but this application was dismissed and he then appealed successfully to the Court of Appeal and the wife’s application was struck out. The wife then appealed to the Supreme Court and the claim can now proceed.

The standard of living enjoyed by the parties prior to the breakdown was low and the husband did not begin to create his wealth until 13 years after the breakdown of the relationship and the wife has made no contributions to this wealth. The husband’s company, Ecotricity Group Ltd is valued at least £57 million and he is said to be worth £107 million. The husband currently lives with his second wife, their son and Dane. The wife strongly relies on the husband’s lack of financial support of their son Dane until 2001.

It remains to be seen as to whether the ruling will pave the way for anyone without a completed financial order to bring a claim regardless of how long ago they divorced although due to the extraordinary circumstances of the case, it is unlikely the floodgates will be opened.

This case demonstrates the importance of receiving legal advice upon a divorce and the importance of financial matters being finalised and a court order being obtained.

If you would like more information, speak to our Family Law Solicitor, Louisa Gothard on 020 7998 7777 or email her at louisa.gothard@bloomsbury-law.com.

FAMILY LAW SERVICES

The Decline In Marriage

Friday, March 31st, 2017

Less people than ever are getting married in the west and marriage in Britain is at its lowest level since 1895 and it appears that men, more so than women, are less than keen to enter into marriage when there is a risk that they will lose their space, their money and family if things go wrong.

Marriage is a legal contract and upon any divorce, the starting point for the courts in England and Wales is equality and men in particular are becoming more and more mindful of entering into a legal contract with someone when they believe that person could take half of their property, savings and pensions, if not more. One could argue that it is not that men are shying away from commitment, they are just being sensible.

There is also the possibility of having to pay ongoing spousal maintenance following the divorce for a long term or even for life. However, there has been recent case law to suggest that the aim of the court is for parties to become financially independent from each other as soon as it is reasonable and that it should only be considered to alleviate immediate financial hardship and a clean break should be considered as soon as it is practically possible.

If marriage is to be entered into, there are steps that can be taken to protect the assets of an individual as much as possible and one should consider entering into a pre-marital agreement so that both parties have a clear idea as to how they would divide up their assets upon separation and independent legal advice should be sought in this regard.

If you would like more information, speak to our Family Law Solicitor, Louisa Gothard on 020 7998 7777 or email her at louisa.gothard@bloomsbury-law.com.

FAMILY LAW SERVICES

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