25 July 2013 by

A Clean Break in time

Although it might sound like something from an episode of Doctor Who the recent case of Dale Vincent v Kathleen Julie Wyatt shows that it is now possible to achieve a clean break by the mere passage of time.

In this case the wife, Mrs Wyatt, made an application for a financial remedy order against her husband, Mr Vincent, who she had divorced 19 years earlier. In the years following the divorce Mr Vincent had set up a successful business generating electricity from wind power and was doing very well for himself. Mr Vincent therefore applied to strikeout Mrs Wyatt’s application because of the delay in bringing it and the consequential prejudice to him if she were allowed to proceed.

In the first instance Mr Vincent’s application was refused and to add insult to injury he was ordered to pay Mrs Wyatt’s maintenance to enable her to fund the proceedings to trial. On appeal Mrs Wyatt’s application was struck out and the maintenance payments fell away as there was now no litigation to fund.

In the judgment the Court of Appeal said: ‘Although there was no statutory bar to bringing a claim for financial relief long after the divorce, the court should not allow either party to a former marriage to be harassed by claims for financial relief which were issued many years later and had no real prospect of success.’

Although Mr Vincent was successful in the end it will have cost him a small fortune to fund the proceedings and no doubt resulted in very many sleepless nights. Had the parties agreed a clean break at the time of their divorce this could have all been avoided. A clean break order simply provides for both parties financial claims against each other arising from the marriage to be dismissed. Provided there is agreement it is a relatively straightforward and inexpensive process to obtain a clean break order and it will certainly take less than 19 years!

If you have any questions regarding the above article or are contemplating a divorce, please contact the team at Bolt Burdon.

25 July 2013 by Vincent Billings

Signed, sealed, delivered…but by whom?

As all company directors will know, it is very important to keep your personal and professional lives separate. When it comes to contracts, things are no different.

25 July 2013 by

Non-disclosure: Does it really matter?

The parties in Financial Remedy Proceedings have an ongoing duty to provide full, frank, clear and accurate disclosure of their financial and other relevant circumstances. Indeed, they must sign a statement of truth to that effect when completing their financial statement, which contains a warning that proceedings for contempt of court can be brought against any person who makes or causes to be made a false statement. So it’s very serious stuff, but in reality very rarely happens.

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