Case Report: The importance of dealing with the finances at the time of divorce – don’t delay!

In the recent case A v B (No. 2) [2018] EWFC 45, the court was asked to determine whether to make financial provision for the former husband (A) 24 years after the parties’ divorce.

By way of background, the parties had two children together and divorced in 1992. The wife (B) was the main breadwinner and the husband (A) was the primary carer of the children. When the parties initiated divorce proceedings, financial remedy proceedings were not pursued at the time and the parties instead came to a private informal arrangement relating to the finances. The former wife paid the ex-husband child maintenance and continued to support him financially, including paying for a house and an extension for him and the children to reside in.

In 2015, the wife’s financial position suffered and when the children were no longer minors, she asked her ex-husband to move out of the property so that it could be sold, to realise her investment.  The husband argued that the agreement was that he could remain in the property as long as he wanted and he took the matter to court.

The Judge allowed the husband’s case to pursue, despite the wife’s argument that the application should be struck out as having no merit, on the basis that the wife continued to provide ongoing voluntary support to the husband financially after the marriage had broken down.

At the second hearing, the Judge dismissed the husband’s claim on the basis that the parties had reached a comprehensive agreement between themselves relating to the finances after their divorce and the husband continued to receive ongoing support thereafter. Therefore, this case demonstrates that an informal agreement relating to the finances may be upheld if it is fair in all the circumstances.

Although the husband was not successful in his claim, this case highlights the importance of dealing with the finances at the time of divorce and recording your agreement legally to avoid your ex-partner making a claim against you in the future.

If you have any further questions relating to divorce and financial proceedings or would like further information in relation to the above, please contact the Family Department at Paul Robinson Solicitors on (01702) 338338 or e-mail us at info@paulrobinson.co.uk and we would be happy to assist you.