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Divorce - Financial order claims double

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The number of people seeking financial orders to obtain more money from their ex-spouses after divorce has more than doubled in a year.

Records reveal that the number of claims rose from 14,690 in 2013 to 29,060 in 2014.

The high profile case of Wyatt v Vince [2015] UKSC 14 is a stark reminder that in the absence of a Court order to draw a line under financial claims, an ex-spouse can bring a fresh claim against their former partner, even if the marriage ended many years ago.

During the recession it appears that many couples agreed informal financial settlements between themselves, to keep legal costs down. But without a binding legal agreement there is no time-limit on a former partner pursuing a further financial claim.

Now that property values and earnings are starting to rise again, a former spouse might decide to pursue a claim for more than was agreed informally. In addition, they could revisit a claim for pension provision - an issue which might have seemed unimportant when they separated, but could take on greater urgency as they get older.

Without a binding Court order recording the terms of any agreement and preventing any future claims, couples might not have achieved the clean-break they thought they had.

Please contact a member of our Family team for further information or advice.