The case of Wyatt and Vince has recently highlighted the importance of obtaining an Order dealing with financial matters during divorce proceedings.
Mr Vince and Ms Wyatt met as students in their early twenties and married in 1981. The pair had a son and lived a New Age traveller lifestyle before their divorce in 1992. When the divorce was finalised no such Order dealing with the financial aspects of the divorce was ever made. Subsequently, Mr Vince founded a company worth an estimated £57 million.
Ms Wyatt has been successful in making an application to the court for the financial aspects of the divorce to be considered. She is claiming £1.9 million however the majority of opinion is that it is extremely unlikely that she will be successful in achieving this sum. It is still possible that Ms Wyatt will receive nothing as a result of the litigation, however she may yet successfully receive a lump sum of some sort as a result of the application whether by court order or by an out of court settlement.
Mr Vince appealed against a previous decision by the court to allow Ms Wyatt’s claim upon the basis that she had lodged the claim too late and invited the court to dismiss her application out of hand. This was rejected by the court and Ms Wyatt’s claim is now proceeding.
This underlines the fact that there is no time limit for ex-spouses to apply to a court for a financial settlement following a divorce, providing that they have not remarried.
The judgement is also a timely reminder that divorcing couples who want to protect themselves from such claims, even if they have no money at all, should obtain an Order from the court once Decree Nisi has been granted. Divorcing couples can agree that such an Order is in full and final settlement of all financial claims, both now and in the future.
In most cases the financial Order, known as a Consent Order, can be achieved without either party ever having to attend court.
At John Hodge Solicitors, our Family Team has over 70 years combined experience in guiding people through divorces and in obtaining Consent Orders.
Our Family Team offer and initial free consultation, therefore, if you require our advice and assistance pleas do not hesitate to contact us.