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Financial claims still possible 23 years after divorce

View profile for Graeme Barclay
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23 years after their divorce, former spouses Kathleen Wyatt and Dale Vince reached a financial settlement. Ms Wyatt applied for a financial order against her ex husband, after discovering Mr Vince’s business venture had been successful in the years after their divorce.

Ms Wyatt and Mr Vince met in 1981 and married in December that year, neither party with substantial assets or income, claiming state benefits. Ms Wyatt had a child from a previous relationship, which Mr Vince treated as his own; the pair then went on to have their own child in 1983. The couple separated in 1984 having only been married for two years. After the separation Mr Vince went on to live as a ‘new age traveller’ providing no financial support for the children. Finally the couple divorced in 1992.

Ms Wyatt went on to have two more children but did not remarry and didn’t have a stable financial income to support herself or her children. However Mr Vince achieved success after his company Ecotricity Group Limited was founded following the divorce, and is currently estimated to be worth £57 million.

In 2011 Ms Wyatt applied for a lump sum financial settlement and payment of court fees. Eventually the case was heard by the Supreme Court. Having never remarried, no time limit could be placed on Ms Wyatt claiming for a financial settlement. Mr Vince was therefore required to cover Ms Wyatt’s costs and provide financial relief for her children.

Graeme Barclay, Family Partner at Warner Goodman LLP says: “Financial matters should be resolved at the time of the divorce. Even if neither party has any assets to share you should discuss preventing any future claims, which will protect any future assets you may have.”

If your in doubt about financial matters following a divorce please contact our family team on 02380 717431, or visit their section of the website here.

ENDS

This is for information purposes only and is no substitute for, and should not be interpreted as, legal advice.  All content was correct at the time of publishing and we cannot be held responsible for any changes that may invalidate this article.