Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Eco millionaire faces claim for maintenance 20 years after his divorce

The unfortunate plight of multi-millionaire Dale Vince has recently demonstrated the importance of entering into a Consent Order to deal with financial aspects of a divorce.

Mr Vince and his wife divorced in 1992. They did not enter into a Consent Order in relation to their financial settlement because at the time the assets between them did not seemingly have much value. Mrs Vinci did not claim maintenance from Mr Vinci because he simply did not have the money to pay.

After the divorce Mr Vinci started his own business from the back of his trailer. This company grew significantly during the decades after his divorce and became the green energy giant Ecotricity Limited. During the period 2011/2012, the company had a turnover of £44 million and Mr Vinci enjoys a commensurate lifestyle in a house worth £3million.

Now, over 20 years after obtaining his divorce, Mr Vince has found himself in an expensive High Court battle fighting his ex-wife after she made a claim against him for financial support. Despite the fact that parties obtained their divorce in 1992, the Court refused to strike out Mrs Vince’s financial claim and Mr Vince has even been ordered by the Court to pay his ex-wife’s legal fees of £125,000. The case continues.

This recent Court battle has highlighted the importance of entering into a clean break Consent Order to extinguish all future financial claims one spouse may have against the other. Such an order allows there to be full finality to a divorce and without it, as this particular case demonstrates, the door is always left open for a financial claim to be made even after decree absolute for divorce has been obtained.

We are a team of specialist family law solicitors in Manchester. For more divorce advice please read our family law blog or follow us on Twitter @Divorce_expert

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Defamation and Divorce - Two Unhappy Bedfellows

The sad tale of proceedings for defamation at the High Court between Lady Nora Colthurst and her ex-husband’s girlfriend’s daughter is worth commenting on from a divorce perspective. Lady Colthurst and her ex-husband had been married for 22 years but the marriage ended after he started an affair with his current girlfriend.

The comments that were the subject of the recent proceedings were posted in a blog back in 2005. They only came to Lady Colthurst’s attention in 2011. The blog was eventually removed in March 2012. It is reported that Lady Colthurst has accepted undisclosed libel damages and a public apology for the 'distressing' allegations posted online.

It is so tempting for parents when they are divorcing to involve their new partners and sometimes their new partner’s children in their upset. As this case demonstrates, where children or young adults who are used to using social media get involved, it can go too far. No doubt the young lady in this case thought she was helping her mother and her mother’s boyfriend by posting defamatory comments on line, but, as this young lady has discovered, doing so has consequences.

The breakdown of a marriage is a stressful and emotional time and it is important to ask for help if you need it. However, it is important for all divorcing couples to counsel friends and family not to get involved in a way that could aggravate a tense situation.

For more advice on divorce follow our family law blog or follow us on Twitter @Divorce_experts.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Hidden Assets in Young divorce may now be revealed...

It now seems that jailed British property developer Scot Young and an associate Russian businessman constructed a secret network of offshore companies to hide his fortune during his multi-million pound divorce battle with his now ex-wife Michelle Young.

Mrs Young is claiming a share of her husband’s £400 million fortune which Mr Young claims disappeared within 3 months and turned into debts of £28 million. Mr Young however was jailed in January 2013 for contempt of court as he failed to verify his alleged financial loses during the financial settlement proceedings.

According to reports Mr Young found varies ways of deceiving his wife and the divorce solicitors as to what his fortunes actually were. One such plan reportedly commenced as Mr Young’s marriage started to deteriorate in 2005 by Mr Young joining forces with a Russian associate to invest in a deal to redevelop a former paint-factory site worth approximately £65million based in Moscow into shops and offices. Mr Young then received half the shares in an offshore Cyprus company from his associate, which controlled the planned property speculation. The deal between the two men involved 12 companies and trusts in Cyprus, Russia, the British Virgin Islands and Lichtenstein. Mr Young then claimed that the Moscow development fell through and that he received no shares.

We are a team of specialist family law solicitors in Manchester. For more divorce advice please read our family law blog or follow us on Twitter @Divorce_experts