Number of spouses revisiting divorce settlements doubles

By Lenore Rice

Last year the number of spouses going to court to revisit their divorce settlement more than doubled, with 29,060 court hearings compared to 14,690 in 2013.

The so-called 'double divorces' have been under the spotlight recently following the Supreme Court decision to allow Kathleen Wyatt to pursue her ex-husband for a payout 30 years after they separated. Spouses can return to court to make a new claim if there was no financial order to severe their respective finances at the time of the divorce. As illustrated by the case of Ms Wyatt, there is no set time restriction on bringing a new claim against a former spouse for financial remedy.

Couples who reach an informal settlement when they divorce will often fail to obtain a financial order to formalise their financial agreement. Others may have perhaps been in a hurry to get the Decree Absolute and not taken time to understand the implications of failing to get a financial order. Those who decide to revisit their divorce settlement can seek to bring a court claim against their ex-spouse.

Many claims will be brought in response to an improvement in an ex-spouse's economic situation, and others because of some new information that has come to light in terms of the value of assets that were divided up previously. Some might feel that they didn't take adequate legal advice during the original divorce and now have an improved understanding of what they were entitled to.

If you require legal advice from a divorce solicitor in Northern Ireland contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast or Bangor by calling 0800 840 1363.

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