In the recent case of Vince –v- Wyatt (2003) EWCA CIV 495 the ex-wife (“W”) tried to apply for financial provision 19 years after divorcing her husband (“H”). At the time of the separation the parties had little by way of income or assets and lived bohemian lifestyles.
Following the separation both met new partners and H had remarried. In 1995, two years after their divorce, the H had launched a small business, Ecotricity.
W had included financial claims in her 1992 Divorce Petition but did not pursue them.
By 2012 H’s company Ecotricity, was worth several million and W decided to reactivate her financial claims.
To add insult to injury she also applied for a “fighting fund” which means provision for legal costs to be met by her ex-H.
The furious H made an application for W’s case to be struck out but at first instance the Judge declined and made legal costs provision for the W.
On appeal by the H the Court unanimously agreed to strike out W’s application. It underlines the importance of bringing financial applications within reasonable proximity to the conclusion of a marriage. As the Court said, H was not W’s “insurer against life’s eventualities”.