Divorce: Landmark ruling challenges husband’s fortune acquired after separation

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A landmark ruling means that those who do not tie up all the loose ends on divorce are in real danger of finding that, years later, a former spouse can bring a claim for money or property.

A wife, whose divorce took place 20 years ago is being allowed by the court to proceed with a claim for money against her former husband on the basis that there is no statute of limitations or expiry period in relation to her claim. The wife spent 16 years after her divorce bringing up her son in real hardship after the parties separated in poor financial circumstances. The husband went on to build a fortune.

The amount the wife is entitled to will go on to be decided at a later date based on all the circumstances of the case and the statutory factors the court must take into account.

This is a timely reminder that a decree absolute of divorce is not a financial clean break and that parties must tie up all the loose ends with the proper paperwork if they want to be free to pursue their own dreams and ambitions without later challenge.

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Nicola Furmston is a solicitor specialising in the family field at Barker GoteleeSolicitors in Ipswich.

Nicola Furmston | Wednesday, March 11th, 2015