Impact of Remarrying on Matrimonial Finances

by Gemma Preston

Often people going through a divorce believe that once the Decree Absolute has been obtained, the financial ties between themselves and their spouse are severed, which they are not. A divorce deals only with the dissolution of your marriage.

In order to sever financial ties with your ex-spouse and prevent them from making a claim against your financial assets in the future, it is vital to obtain a Court Order from the Family Court.

If the financial matters can be agreed (either by yourselves, through mediation or via Solicitors negotiations), your solicitor can prepare a Consent order. A Consent order sets out the agreement that has been reached between you.

The case of Vince v Wyatt in 2015 confirmed the importance of resolving the financial issues, even if the assets of the marriage were modest. In Vince v Wyatt the parties were divorced but they did not obtain a Court order in relation to their finances and therefore, the financial claims against each other remained open. The husband had built up a million-pound business and in 2011, the wife issued proceedings against the husband (almost 20 years after the Decree Absolute). After lengthy proceedings the Court ordered the husband to pay a lump sum to the wife.

This could have been prevented if a Consent Order was obtained at the time of the divorce.

It is also important to resolve the financial aspects at the same time as your divorce since if you remarry, you may be statute barred from applying to resolve the finances as against your previous spouse.

It is therefore, very important that you obtain the necessary legal advice at an early stage.

If you would like to discuss your options, please contact the Private Family Team to arrange an appointment and we shall be pleased to help.