Today the Supreme Court held that an ex-spouse can apply for financial provision – despite the fact they had been divorced over 19 years.
Kathleen Wyatt and Dale Vince lived as new age travellers in the 1980s and divorced after only two years of marriage in 1992. At the time they lived in a caravan and had nothing. Fast forward more than 20 years and Mr Vince’s fortune have changed dramatically, and Ms Wyatt is hoping for a very belated settlement.
13 years after their divorce Mr Vince went on to found a green energy firm Ecotricity which now has a turnover of over £40 million a year. In 2011 Ms Wyatt launched a claim for a financial provision seeking a lump sum and maintenance from her former husband.
The court of appeal blocked this stating that the application was too late. Today however the Supreme Court has overturned that decision paving the way for Ms Wyatt to proceed with her claim which she puts a £1.9 million.
This could have been avoided if the parties, at the time of their divorce had entered into an agreement setting out the division of their finances and dismissing any further claims.
Lots of people these days deal with their own divorce and decide that, as there is no money to be divided or they have already sold their property and divided the proceeds, they need no further intervention from the courts.
This isn’t the case and can be a very costly mistake.
A court order will deal with the division of the family finances and even if there isn’t any money at the time of the divorce will dismiss any further claims that the parties may have against each other.
Even if your divorce is simple and straightforward it is always worth getting legal advice. A good family lawyer can guide you through the potential pitfalls and give advice that is tailored to suit your own circumstances
The Family Team at Pinney Talfourd can advise regarding consent orders to help protect couples and their assets in the event of separation.
Call 01708 229 444 for more information or visit the Family Law webpage to book an appointment online and get peace of mind.