Divorce – the Dangers of Delay

Two years ago, judgment was handed down in the controversial case of Wyatt v Vince. The case is a reminder to all divorcing couples to sort the financial matters out now and not delay as to do so may cause unexpected problems.

The couple had married in 1981 and had a son together; the Wife had a child from a previous relationship who was regarded as a child of the family. They separated in 1984 and were divorced by 1992; no agreement or Order of the court was obtained to deal with the finances. Neither the wife nor husband had much money and no assets.

Following the divorce, the husband became a multi-millionaire as his green energy business became a roaring success.

In 2011, 19 years after divorce, the ex-wife made an application to the court; she wanted a lump sum for bringing up the children and payments to fund her legal costs.  The ex-husband asked for the application to be struck out as they had been poor when they got divorced.  The High Court ordered the ex husband to pay the ex-wife’s legal fees of £125,000. He appealed.

After Appeal to the Court of Appeal and then the Supreme Court the ex-wife was allowed permission to make her application. After 23 years of separation the final settlement resulted in the wife receiving £300,000.

The moral of the story is clear – when you are getting divorced; ensure that your financial matters are resolved at the same time. If you don’t you could find yourself, years down the line, defending an application being brought by an ex-partner.

Here at Bretherton Law, we advise on all aspects of family breakdown including preparing that all important financial agreement. Arrange an appointment with Heidi Fleming on 01727 869293 to ensure that all the loose ends are tied up.


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