You may have read about the much publicised case of Kathleen Wyatt and Dale Vince, who separated in 1984 when they were both penniless. Their divorce was granted in 1992 but they did not enter into a financial Order dismissing their claims (or they did but they/the Court lost it). During this period of separation (after divorce) Mr Vince’s green business went from strength to strength compared to Ms Wyatt who struggled financially and lived in abject poverty. Mr Vince’s business is now worth in the region of £57 million and was formed a few years after the Decree Absolute (so this is 100% post separation accrual).
After applications to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, Ms Wyatt was allowed to make an application for financial relief, albeit she was warned it would be for a ‘modest sum’.
On the 10th June, it was agreed that Ms Wyatt would receive a lump sum of £300,000 from Mr Vince, in addition to the costs orders of £325,000 she had already received. However, she has not paid her legal fees so the net benefit to Ms Wyatt could be much less.
This case highlights the importance of entering into a financial Order after your divorce, even if neither of you have any joint assets at the time of separation.
For further information please contact our family department on 02030967500.