Regulation  

Couples must put affairs in order before split: Moore Blatch

Couples must put affairs in order before split: Moore Blatch

Partners should make sure their financial affairs are sorted out when they divorce to avoid legal disputes decades later, Debra Emery has said.

The partner and head of family at Hampshire law firm Moore Blatch was speaking after a landmark Supreme Court ruling allowed a woman to claim money from her multi-millionaire ex-husband 22 years after they divorced.

Dale Vince, 53, had appealed against his ex-wife Kathleen Wyatt, 55, on the basis that her £1.9m claim had been brought too late.

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But Lord Wilson said Ms Wyatt’s claim was “legally recognisable” though admitted it may be dismissed.

Ms Emery said one of the reasons for the success of this case was the lack of a financial order at the time of the divorce.

She said: “Our advice is twofold: if you believe that you have a claim of this nature seek advice and more importantly make sure that your financial affairs are sorted at point of divorce, regardless of whether you have assets or that the divorce is perfectly amicable.”

Ms Wyatt divorced Mr Vince in 1992 after an 11-year marriage during which time they had a son.

In 1995 Mr Vince set up his firm, Ecotricity, and he is now estimated to be worth £107m.

Adviser view

William Hunter, director of Edinburgh-based Hunter Wealth Management, said: “If you are bringing something to the table then I would suggest doing a pre-nuptial agreement as a matter of course.

“I have got a client doing one now and it makes sense to have an adult conversation and make a plan B just in case it doesn’t work.”