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Supreme Court Allows Wife’s Financial Claim 18 Years

Supreme Court Allows Wife’s Financial Claim 18 Years After Divorce to Proceed

The highly anticipated decision in the case of Wyatt v Vince 2015 (UK SC14) was announced this month. The decision grants Mrs Wyatt permission to pursue a claim for a financial remedy against her ex husband even though they have been divorced for some eighteen years.

At the time of the divorce, the couple had limited assets and it is unlikely that they entered into a “Financial Order”. Neither party recalls entering into any such agreement and the Court had no record of one.

As a result, the Court could not be satisfied they did not have a Financial Order at the time of the divorce, Mrs Wyatt could pursue a claim against her ex husband some eighteen years on.

The Court decided there was no time bar for Mrs Wyatt pursuing a claim. Since the divorce, Mr Vince had become very successful with his energy firm and had personal wealth estimated at £60 million.

The importance of this decision highlights that when couples are divorcing they should always reach a financial settlement, even where there are no assets, to dismiss future claims. Alternatively, the risk of a future claim is always there and, in view of the huge press interest this case has brought, there is a possibility of more financial claims being brought against ex spouses many many years after the divorce has been finalised.

Even when there are no assets, people should seriously consider agreeing a financial settlement or there is always going to be the possibility of there being Court proceedings many many years in the future.

When you are getting divorced, you must ensure that you simultaneously seek advice on financial terms and ensure you have a Financial Order.