Legal Advice for Financial Claims Following a Divorce
Many people do not realise that when a couple divorce, although their legal marriage contract is dissolved, they are still financially connected. Without the correct legal advice, former spouses may be entitled to make a claim on the other’s finances at any point in the future.
This can create uncertainty and you may be concerned about how secure your earnings, savings or pension may be, even years after your separation or divorce.
At Clifford Johnston & Co. we can provide you with the expert advice that you will need to safeguard your financial future and to help avoid damaging claims being made against you.
If you need advice on any aspect of your finances following your divorce contact us without delay and speak to one of our experienced family law solicitors.
About financial claims following a divorce
In the event of a separation or divorce most couples come to an agreement about how to divide their finances. Circumstances can change however and unless your agreement has been made legally binding through the courts, your former partner will be able to make a financial claim against you at any point in the future.
Reasons that people choose to bring a financial claim beyond what has already been agreed include:
• Their or your circumstances have changed
• They have re-evaluated their position and believe the original agreement to be unfair.
• They feel they were rushed or pressured into the initial division of assets.
• One person earns or inherits a significant sum of money post-divorce, which their ex-partner believes they should be entitled to share in.
Post divorce financial claim case ctudy
One high profile case that made the news involved entrepreneur Dale Vince.
Mr Vince and his first wife Kathleen Wyatt were married for two years in their twenties. They had one child together before deciding to separate in 1984. It was a further eight years before they divorced in 1992.
At this time, the division of the couple’s assets was not dealt with formerly and a court order was never sought to make their agreement legally binding. This was a decision Mr Vince lived to regret as in the succeeding years he became a self-made multi-millionaire.
Almost 20 years after their divorce, Ms Wyatt made a financial claim against her ex-husband for almost £2 million. Mr Vince fought the claim on the grounds that the marriage was so long ago and had ended well in advance of him making his fortune.
Crucially, the courts disagreed.
Ms Wyatt’s claim was allowed to proceed and although her claim for £1.9 million was dismissed she was awarded a six figure settlement in 2016.
This recent judgement upheld the long standing rule that the family courts cannot dismiss a claim without fully investigating the circumstances of each individual involved, even if decades have passed since their separation and divorce.
As Lord Wilson of the Supreme Court said, this case reinforces “the potentially life-long obligations which attend a marriage”.
It is therefore essential that you thoroughly and formally deal with the division of any assets between you and your spouse at the point of divorce and you will need to take specialist legal advice to ensure that everything is handled properly. It may cost slightly more in the short-term but could save you thousands in years to come.
How do we make the division of our finances legal?
A court order is the best and most certain way to legalise the division of your assets and to protect yourself from an unwanted financial claim being made against you in the future. Depending on your situation, there are many different types of court order and we will be able to advise you on the best course of action for your particular circumstances.
Where you have agreed on the division of the assets an agreed court order can be submitted for approval by a Judge which we refer to as a Consent Order. Crucially, we would ensure that all future claims each party may have against the other are dismissed both during their lives and even against their estate upon their death.
How Clifford Johnston can help
It is important that your court order is drafted by an experienced solicitor to ensure that it meets all the necessary legal requirements and clauses so that it is accepted by the court.
At Clifford Johnston & Co. not only do we have the expertise and technical knowledge required to draft your order but we will also provide you with bespoke advice about what should be included based on your own specific situation. To be approved by the court, your order must be considered fair and achievable and we can provide you with objective and impartial professional advice to ensure that it meets all the necessary objectives, while also looking after your long-term interests.
Where there are pensions, your consent order should be submitted before you apply for your decree absolute. Our accomplished team of solicitors will act swiftly so that your divorce can proceed as quickly and smoothly as possible and you can begin to move on with your life.
Contact the experts
Clifford Johnston & Co. is one of the leading law firms across Stockport and Manchester, renowned for providing the highest standards of legal service.
Our family law specialists can help with all matters relating to your divorce, supporting you through the process and ensuring that your finances and further interests are secure.
We believe that everyone has the right to first class, legal advice and provide a cost-effective and affordable service to all of our clients. For a free, no-obligation quotation and to find out more about how we can help, contact us today and speak to a member of our friendly team.
With offices in Stockport (Heaton Moor) & Manchester (Burnage), our expert family solicitors are easily accessible. We represent clients not only locally and throughout Stockport, Cheshire, Lancashire & Manchester but also across the United Kingdom. You can count on us to help and guide you whatever your challenge or circumstance.