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Millionaire’s Spouse allowed to claim on fortune 23 years after divorce

EH SolicitorsBlogMillionaire’s Spouse allowed to claim on fortune 23 years after divorce

Mar

11

Millionaire’s Spouse allowed to claim on fortune 23 years after divorce

The news that the Supreme Court today allowed the ex-wife of energy company Ecotricity to pursue a claim for maintenance 23 years after their divorce may open the floodgates to ex-spouses who seek a payout when their ex-partner ‘hits the jackpot’.

Dale Vince married Kathleen Wyatt in 1981 when both were both new age travellers without a penny to their names . The marriage lasted 11 years and they divorced in 1992. Later, in 1995 Mr Vince founded Ecotricity, which has since become one of the UK’s biggest green energy companies. Mr Vince has since been reported to be worth in the region of £107 million

Ms Wyatt recently, 22 years after the divorce, applied to court for £2 million, and although the High Court initially allowed the claim to proceed the Court of Appeal later decided that the claim was too late, only for the Supreme Court today to say the claim can proceed.

Although it is not clear whether there will now be a string of claims by ex-spouses in circumstances where the ex-partner has had a windfall such as a lottery win or simply become mega-successful in business, 2 things are clear;

1. The courts regularly endorse #Consent Orders where the parties agree to a final settlement, and had one been agreed in this case then it is clear that the claim would have been unlikely to have been allowed to proceed. But with the rise in ‘quickie’ and ‘DIY’ divorces parties are forgetting to finalise matters with Consent Orders, which in our view makes the need for a specialist family Solicitor to help all the more important.

2. Secondly, the decision once again raises the question of whether #Prenuptial Agreements should be given the full force of law in this country so that parties can agree to what will be the split of assets in the event of divorce before the marriage takes place. again a specialist Family law solicitor can help to draft such an agreement.

If you need specialist Family law advice, Ellis Hass Solicitors can help. We are based in Solihull in the West Midlands with easy access from roads and rail, and our offices are in a discreet location in the centre of the town. Contact Helen Hanson on 0121 709 1918 for further information.

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