Can your ex come back to haunt you? Yes, they can!

In my article back in March 2015 I posed the question 'can your ex back to haunt you?' the answer to that question is yes they can.  In my article I discussed how a wife (Kathleen Wyatt) whose marriage had broken down more than 30 years ago had won the right to seek a lump sum from her ex-husband (Dale Vince) who became a millionaire more than a decade after they separated.

Following the Supreme Court's decision in March 2015 Mrs Wyatt's financial application was listed for a Financial Dispute Resolution Appointment (FDR) which took place in October 2015 however no settlement was reached.  An agreement has, however, now been reached between the parties some months later.

Mrs Wyatt will receive a lump sum of £300,000 from Mr Vince in full and final settlement of her financial claim.  How much Mrs Wyatt will actually receive is uncertain due to outstanding legal bills which have yet to be quantified.

The couple's divorce was finalised in 1992 and even though Mr Vince claimed a financial order was made, there was no evidence of this.  In the late 1990's Mr Vince went on to become a green energy tycoon after launching a company called Ecotricity, which is now a multi-million pound company.  Mr Vince argued that his ex spouse had lodged her claim for financial provision in 2011 too late, but five Supreme Court justices unanimously ruled that her case should proceed.

Approving the terms of the settlement, High Court Family Judge Mr. Justice Cobb, sitting in London, said: "I am perfectly satisfied that it is reasonable, and that the wife is entitled to receive a modest capital award following the breakdown of this marriage; the lump sum payment agreed between the parties fairly represents, in my view, a realistic and balanced appraisal of the unusual circumstances of this case having particular regard to the factors set out in section 25(1) and (2) of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973."

We would suggest any divorcees who don't have financial court orders in place review their situation and seek legal advice to protect any wealth acquired after their divorce.  If you want a clean break with no come backs, you need to act prudently at the time of the divorce and obtain a Court Order otherwise your ex spouse could come back to haunt you many years down the line.

For advice on all financial matters arising in divorce/separation please contact a member of our Family Team on 01482 337361.

Posted on: 10/06/2016

This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.

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