The case of Vince v Wyatt is a timely reminder that simply divorcing does not resolve financial issues.
The circumstances of the case are that the couple divorced in 1992, when both had no significant assets. Subsequently, the husband began a successful business which made millions. Both parties began new relationships and had children.
in 2011 the wife then made an application for a financial order from her ex-husband. She also sought a costs order to finance her claim.
The husband sought to strike out his ex-wife’s application but was unsuccessful. Even though the parties divorced nearly 20 years ago, the wife was permitted to continue with her claim. The court considered that there is no time limit for a claim to be made as no arrangements had been agreed at the time of the divorce.
Ultimately the parties reached a settlement and the Court approved the agreement in full and final settlement of the wife’s claim. The husband had to pay the wife a lump sum of £300,000 as well as £325,000 towards her legal costs.
The very serious message is that married couples who are divorcing and want protection from such claims, should resolve the finances at the time of the divorce.