Our survey says……
The recent high profile decision in Wyatt v Vince (where the Supreme Court stated that only in cases where the court has already determined the financial claims, or where the case is not legally recognised because the claimant has remarried is a spouse prevented from bringing a claim many years later) is a stark warning to divorcing couples that they should resolve their financial claims at the point of divorce.
“Financial claims should stop after 1 year”
Our survey reveals the mood of the nation when considering how long is reasonable for a spouse to be able to make financial claims after divorce. We asked:
“How long should a spouse be entitled to make a financial claim after divorce?”
The results show a range of views. However, by a clear majority (38%) the respondents said no longer than 1 year. A quarter said that 5 years was long enough to bring a claim. However, perhaps surprisingly given the commentary since the Supreme Court decision, 29% were of the view that a claim could still be brought in excess of 20 years after the divorce.
Statistically, almost 50% of marriages end in divorce. The average length of a marriage to divorce is 10 years. But it seems that regardless of the length of marriage, the ability to bring financial claims many years afterwards, and by far in excess of the length of the marriage itself, has support.
James Thornton, Managing Partner at Paradigm Family Law said:
“The results of our survey show that whilst the majority of responses favour a very short, one year period before a spouse is barred from claiming financial support, a significant minority still effectively support the notion that divorcees can claim financial relief from their former spouse many years into the future.”
“You may think you have nothing worth your former spouse making a claim against – no doubt so did Mr. Vince. But now, many years later, when you have made your first million, look out – without a clean break you are susceptible to a claim for financial relief even though you thought your divorce was concluded so many years ago”.
Don’t leave it to chance
If you would like more information on your financial claims on divorce or on how to achieve a clean break following divorce, please get in touch. You can call us on 0845 6020422 or email us at [email protected] and speak to our family law experts. You can also follow us on twitter here.