The Supreme Court has today given judgment on the case of Wyatt v Vince, involving a wife and husband divorced 22 years ago. In the intervening years, the Husband has made many millions of pounds in his green energy wind farm business. The Wife now seeks a payment of £1.9 million from him.
The Court summarised the issues in the case as follows:
(a) The marital cohabitation subsisted for scarcely more than two years.
(b) It broke down 31 years ago.
(c) The standard of living enjoyed by the parties prior to the breakdown could not have been lower.
(d) The husband did not begin to create his current wealth until 13 years after the breakdown.
(e) The wife has made no contribution, direct or indirect, to its creation.
The court reiterated that “there is no time-limit for seeking order for financial provision or property adjustment for the benefit of a spouse following divorce”. Therefore, even if you are divorced, you may seek to claim, or a claim may be issued against you by your former spouse, unless and until you have a court order dismissing those claims.
The Supreme Court has found that the Wife does have a right to proceed with her claim, but her extensive delay in making that claim will be a “magnetic factor” in determining the outcome. The other “magnetic factor” is the fact that the Husband did not financially support the children of the family during their childhoods with their mother.
It has been found that an award of £1.9 million is “out of the question” but the Wife has a “prospect of comparatively modest success” to purchase a mortgage free home for herself and her dependants.
The case will now return to a lower court for a “Financial Dispute Resolution” hearing, at which the judge will assist the parties in trying to reach an agreed settlement.Get Expert Advice You can contact us for confidential family law advice. We offer free, no obligation, telephone consultations for qualifying individuals. If you would like to book an initial phone consultation at no cost, please contact us today. We will remain fully operational for the duration of the Coronavirus COVID-19 Crisis. Copyright 2013-2020 Rainscourt Law LLP. All rights reserved.