Can your ex get money from you even after a divorce or dissolution?

Wake Smith Solicitors 08 July 2021

Did you know if you are not protected properly your ex-husband, wife or civil partner could make a financial claim against you, even years after your divorce or dissolution?

A decree absolute or final order brings a marriage or civil partnership to a legal conclusion, but it does not end the financial commitments that exist between ex-spouses and ex-civil partners.

To cut all financial ties with your former spouse or civil partner, you need to apply to the Court for a  financial order.

Wake Smith’s collaborative lawyer Deborah Marsh reinforces the importance of getting one in place now for future times.

Deborah said: “Many people think that once you have got divorced/dissolved your civil partnership, that’s it, but the financial ties that exist between you and your former husband or wife or civil partner do not end.

“In England, without a financial order in addition to a divorce/dissolution, an ex-spouse/civil partner can legally request further money from you at any point, even years after your divorce/dissolution and despite the fact that you may have shared the assets at the time of the separation.”

A recent poll conducted by Wake Smith asked about the importance of obtaining a financial order. 14 per cent of respondents were unaware that financial orders existed at all.

Issues when finalising your financial settlement could include:

  • The split of the equity of the family home
  • Any pension share
  • Provision of income to the other spouse/civil partner (in addition to any child maintenance)

Deborah added: “We can try to settle any disputes, agree terms and finalise an agreement to make it legally binding by the obtaining of a financial order. If a dispute cannot be resolved it may have to be left for a Judge to make a final decision.

Financial orders

Financial  orders set out the agreements reached between the parties and how assets, pensions and incomes are to be dealt with.  We can draft the financial order for you which, after it is approved by the other party or theirs solicitors, is then sent to the Court for a Judge to approve and, once approved it is binding.

We can explain the options available depending on your individual circumstances.

Protecting your future with a financial order

Deborah added: “It's also important therefore to obtain a financial order even if you don't have any significant assets at the current time, as it protects any wealth you acquire going forward.

“Just because you don't have any assets at the time of the divorce/dissolution, don’t ignore getting a financial order including a clean break to prevent future financial claims. If not you may acquire money in the future and then your ex can try to make a financial claim, legally.”

The case of Mr Vince and Ms Wyatt, covered heavily in the media a few years ago, highlighted this.

Deborah added: “At the point of divorce there were no assets but, Mr Vince subsequently made millions and years after the divorce Ms Wyatt made financial claims against him, which were eventually settled with her receiving £300,000 plus similar towards her legal costs (Wyatt v Vince [2016] EWHC 1368 (Fam)).

“Financial orders are therefore vital.”

To talk to an experienced family lawyer about your concerns please arrange an appointment with Wake Smith’s family and collaborative lawyer Deborah Marsh on 0114 266 6660 for further details.

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