Latest insights from our experts

Posted 30 June 2016
by Tracy Lambert

Summer Bulletin – Part 1: Marriage/Divorce/Finance

Lump sum ordered to ex-wife 19 years after divorce finalised

A financial settlement has been approved by the High Court in the much reported financial remedies dispute of Wyatt v Vince.

The background to the case is unusual in that the wife issued a claim for financial remedies against her former husband some 19 years after the divorce was finalised. Between decree absolute and the claim being brought the husband had become a very successful businessman owning a company with an estimated value of £57 million.

The husband attempted to strike out the wife’s claim but failed initially, later succeeding in the Court of Appeal. Ultimately, the Supreme Court allowed the wife’s appeal against the strike out and directed that her application proceed in the High Court.

In summary, the settlement that was entered into by agreement of the parties provided for:

  • A lump sum of £300,000 to the wife in full and final settlement of her claims;
  • That the wife should retain a payment on account of £200,000 from her husband towards the costs of her appeal in addition to the previous costs award of £125,000.

It is unusual for costs orders to be made in family cases however, this is likely attributable to the stark disparity in financial positions of the two parties.

It is important to note that claims can still be brought many years after a divorce has been finalised, if there was no clean break entered into at the time, but that the usual starting point of an equal division of assets is less likely to apply the further in the future any applications are made.

New pension tracing service

The DWP has launched a new website to help people locate lost pension savings which are currently estimated to be in the region of a total £400 million. The website address is

Irish same-sex marriages

Statistics have been released showing that 412 same-sex marriages have taken place since the Marriage Equality Referendum between 22/5/15 and 17/5/16.

Top reasons for returning divorce petitions

Resolution has revealed the most common reasons for divorce petitions being returned by divorce centres. Among these reasons are:

  • The details of the marriage ceremony do not mirror the marriage certificate;
  • The section regarding jurisdiction has not been completed correctly;
  • The grounds referred to do not match the statement of case or, in some cases, two grounds have been selected;
  • No marriage certificate has been sent to the court or only a copy was sent.

The statistics do not reveal how many petitions were submitted by solicitors or individuals representing themselves.

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About the author

Tracy Lambert

Partner and Solicitor

Partner based in Exeter's family team