Since the well-publicised case of Vince v Wyatt in 2015, it has
been in the public knowledge that long-divorced spouses can claim
financially against one another years, even decades, after their
marriage was dissolved. However, the Courts are demonstrating a
cautious approach to these 'historical divorce' cases.
The recent Family Court decision in Waudby v Aldhouse concerned
a wife's claim for a financial remedy from her ex-husband, whom
she divorced in 1995 without sorting out the finances of their
marriage. After her divorce, the wife had enjoyed career success
and relative prosperity for a period of years before falling on
harder times, which led to her application in 2014.
In the first hearing, the wife was awarded a lump sum of
£10,000 and maintenance payments worth over £7,000 per
year. However, the appeal judge overturned this decision, on the
basis that too long had passed, that the needs she was now
struggling with were not caused by her marriage to her
long-divorced husband, and that it would not be fair to cause him
to pay money to her after such a long time.
The case underlines the importance of showing that the needs
which a party is claiming against their spouse for must be
'relationship generated' and directly linked to the
The handling of a financial remedy case years after divorce is a
particularly complex and sensitive aspect of family law that is
relatively untested ground, even to the judges themselves. At
Blaser Mills, we will be able to assist and advise you in
considering or defending an application for a financial remedy from
a historical divorce, ensuring that you are effectively represented
throughout the entire process.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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While a request for a divorce may come as a shock, most people come to the realisation that if their spouse considers that the marriage is over then, perhaps after attending marriage counselling, there is no point fighting the inevitable.
There is no question that Mr and Mrs Owens are both unhappy with their current position, and the Court of Appeal judges were equally unhappy with the current legal position. The question is what should be done.
The highly unusual decision in the recent case of Owens v Owens, has served as a reminder of the Respondent's right to defend a Petition for divorce, and the Court's power to reject a Petition based on unreasonable behaviour...
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