The importance of financial orders in light of Wyatt v Vince
The Supreme Court’s decision in Wyatt v Vince on Tuesday 11 March 2015 has resulted in a flurry of excitement. The decision was that the former wife of Mr Vince, divorced some 20 years earlier, was allowed to bring a financial claim in light of the previous marriage and that the claim should be heard.
Whilst some commentators argue that the former wife’s application was not an abuse of process, as her contributions to the family continued many years after the divorce came to an end (in this case in caring for the parties child), there are rumblings of concern as to whether this decision will now result in the opening of floodgates.
Overall this case is highly unusual in that the former spouses divorced with little assets many years ago but the former husband is now worth an estimated £107 million. What is not always known is the fact that financial claims which arise in marriage are not automatically dismissed even after a divorce is finalised.
To deal with the uncertainty of a future financial claim being brought, it is important that parties reach a financial settlement and that they have an order to either deal or dismiss any claims irrespective of whether at the time there are any assets.
Mei-Ling McNab is a Partner in the Family team at Brachers whose comments on the above decision were referenced in an article in the Daily Telegraph. Mei-Ling also appeared live on Sky News. If you have any questions regarding divorce and financial matters then please contact Mei-Ling McNab who would be pleased to discuss your issues.