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Recent Divorce Case Reiterates need for Legal Advice

The Family Department is warning individuals about the importance of receiving professional legal advice during a divorce following a landmark case last month which saw a woman win the right to claim money from her ex-husband, years after they separated.   

Nikki Pickering, Chartered Legal Executive, is urging individuals to seek specialist guidance to avoid future issues similar to the recent case which saw the ex-wife of multi-millionaire, Dale Vince, win the right to claim 20 years after the couple split.  

The case saw Kathleen Wyatt take legal action again Dale Vince, the founder of wind-power firm Ecotricity in 2011, on the basis she had raised the couple’s son on her own through years of hardship. Although Mr Vince initially appealed the claim, the Judge recognised that the court needed to regard ‘the contribution of each party to the welfare of the family, including by looking after the home or caring for the family’. Although Ms Wyatt’s initial claim of £1.9 million is likely to be dismissed, there’s a real prospect that she will secure a comparatively modest award.

Nikki explained: “Although the media hype around this particular case has died down, we wanted to remind individuals about the importance of gaining quality legal advice when going through a divorce. The case highlights the need for people to be aware that even when a divorce is finalised, any financial matters arising out of the divorce do not automatically end. Financial claims arising from a marriage remain open until they are dismissed by a Court Order and as this shows, one party can bring a claim against the other several years after a divorce.

“More and more people are now using online websites or supermarket packages to finalise their divorce, and although this could be a suitable option for couples who can reach an agreement amicably, it essentially doesn’t provide the legal advice couples need, especially when financial assets are involved. We’d always advise our clients to obtain an order which has the effect of dismissing each party’s claim against one another. 

“It should be worth bearing in mind even if each party doesn’t have money at the time of separation, should they inherit property or money, or even win the lottery later down the line the former partner will have the right to claim. I’d urge anyone that requires legal advice to get in touch either via email nikki.pickering@pcblaw.co.uk or calling 01743 237125,” Nikki concluded.


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