March 17, 2015

Ex-wife allowed to claim for financial relief 27 years after separating from her husband – should you be worried?

Despite recent media coverage of the case (Wyatt V Vince), the Supreme Court’s decision was completely understandable. It simply said that a wife’s application shouldn’t be dismissed outright except in exceptional circumstances which might be, for example, where such an application could not be made because the wife had remarried before submitting it.

So far as this particular case was concerned the Supreme Court also made it crystal clear that the wife’s application would face significant difficulties because the marriage had been very short, the parties had been separated for a long time and the husband’s wealth was created long after the two of them were together.

Against this, the wife was entitled to say that she pretty much raised the children without any help from her husband, financial or otherwise and so it was right for the court to consider these conflicting arguments in deciding what, if any, order should be made in her favour.

The moral of the story?

Always make sure that when your marriage ends any financial claims have been resolved, either by way of a formal agreement or preferably a Court Order otherwise you might be in for a shock at some time in the future.

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