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Divorce Financial Settlements - Are There Time Limits?

It has been confirmed that the Supreme Court will consider the case of Vince v Wyatt in December, with their decision likely to follow in 2015.

The case relates to the application of the wife for a financial settlement 18 years after the divorce had taken place. The husband in the case applied to have her case struck out at an early stage, rather than progress in the usual way. Applications in the High Court and the Court of Appeal have centred on whether it is permissible for a claim for matrimonial financial relief, such as this one, to be struck out without hearing the merits argument first.

Under divorce and matrimonial law, if a final order is not made in respect of financial matters at the time of a divorce, each parties financial claims against each other arising from the marriage can remain live pending certain events such as remarriage and as in this case, pursued many years later. It is for that reason that whilst it is not compulsory to have such an order, it is always advisable to do so.

The decision will be awaited with interest and is likely to affect the way divorce lawyers advise about the importance of dealing with financial matters once and for all, rather than leaving them in abeyance.

Cara Nuttall is a Family Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Manchester.

Slater and Gordon have offices in England & Wales offering both flexible pricing and fixed fees for family law and divorce. For a free initial consultation call freephone 0800 916 9055 or contact us online and we'll be happy to help.


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