The answer quite simply is when it hasn’t been made into a Court Order.
Many separating couples believe that if they have just agreed with their ex that they will make no claim against the other and walk away that this will be sufficient to cover the rest of their lives.
A recent Supreme Court decision however has underlined the need for all separating and divorcing couples to ensure that their agreements are final and enforceable.
In Wyatt v Vince, the court ruled that the ex-wife of the founder of an energy supply company could proceed with a claim against her ex husband even though it is more than 20 years since they divorced. He is also required to pay her legal costs. The reason for this is simply that the parties did not have a final financial order made in their divorce.
The ex-husband is said to be worth more than £100 million pounds now although when the parties divorced in 1992 neither had any assets. The ex-husband could therefore be facing a substantial claim, and the wife’s costs alone are likely to run to many thousands.
The moral therefore is that a few hundred pounds spent now obtaining a final order is money well spent for future security, even in more modest cases. There are often unforeseen circumstances such as windfalls and inheritance that could be subject to a claim in the future if not.
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