The recent case of Wyatt v Vince reinforces the importance of Clean Break Orders.

Ms Wyatt and Mr Vince met in their early 20s and married in 1981 and have one child together. Ms Wyatt and Mr Vince separated in 1995 and were divorced shortly after their separation.

After the Parties separation, Mr Vince set up his own company known as Ecotricity which is now worth an estimated 107 million. Mr Vince has also obtained an OBE award.

Although the couple had finalised their divorce and Decree Absolute had been pronounced by the court, neither party had made an application to the court in relation to financial matters, nor had this been dealt with by way of agreement. The court had therefore not ordered a Clean Break Order and as such Ms Wyatt has now successfully won a claim for the court to consider whether she should be entitled to a share of Mr Vince’s assets.

Although the court is unlikely to award Ms Wyatt the claim she originally sought, for 1.9 million, it is likely that she will receive an order for a lump sum payment from Mr Vince.

The case of Wyatt v Vince highlights the importance of Clean Break Orders and reminds us all that without the benefit of a Clean Break Order, even after Decree Absolute has been pronounced, an individual can return to the court for them to consider claims in respect of property, pensions, income and inheritance once divorce proceedings have been issued.

For further advice, please contact a member of the family department who will be happy to discuss your matter with you.