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Ex-husband wins appeal against financial award 20 years after divorce

A recent court case has highlighted some difficulties with old financial claims which can be made at any time following a divorce – as long as the individual making the claim has not re-married or had an identical claim dismissed.

Last year, the Supreme Court allowed a former wife to pursue a financial claim 18 years after her divorce from her former husband. Together they had one child and the wife had another child from a previous relationship – who the husband treated as a child of his own.

The case involved Mrs Wyatt and Mr Vince.  Mrs Wyatt later received a lump sum payment of £300,000 following an agreement between the two parties – far less than the £1.9million she was initially claiming.

A more recent case

This latest case, Waudby v Aldhouse, highlights the importance of the applicant demonstrating a causal link between his/her financial need and the marriage itself when making an application for a financial order a long time after the divorce.

The former husband (Waudby) and wife (Aldhouse) married in 1982 and separated in 1994. The marriage was dissolved in 1995 following both parties declaring bankruptcy (the husband having declared bankruptcy once before) and the wife’s discovery of her husband’s affair. At the time of her bankruptcy, the wife also suffered a mental breakdown forcing her to retire from work and was granted a health related pension as a result.

At the time of the divorce, there were no marital assets to share because of the bankruptcy of both parties. The wife did not pursue a financial claim holding on to the belief and expectation that her now ex-husband would ‘see her right’ by making voluntary monetary payments. The wife did not receive any payments following their divorce.

After the divorce in 1995, the wife had various part time and full time jobs including acting as the director of her own Limited Company. The wife also purchased a property subject to mortgage and cohabited with a new partner. The wife however suffered financial difficulties including a £4,000 reduction in her sickness pension.

The result

The husband has won an appeal in the Family Court against his former wife who was claiming a £10,000 lump sum payment and an additional £9,756 a year – 20 years after their divorce. The wife did not receive a penny!

For more information on this or to discuss any family law or divorce issue, please contact Mike Spencer on 0115 9 100 200 or click here to send an email.

Posted on October 24, 2016

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