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

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