The ‘remarriage trap’ is when someone remarries before resolving financial separation after divorce, resulting in them no longer being able to make a claim in relation to that marriage.
There are some exceptions:
1. If you are the person who made the application for divorce, and in that application you (or your solicitor) ticked the box applying for a ‘financial order’
2. If you filed an application with the court for a Financial Remedy Order (using Form A) prior to remarrying.
The effect of not resolving financial separation on divorce, and subsequently remarrying, may mean that you will be prevented from making claims for property adjustment, spousal maintenance and lump sum orders.
It is always important to resolve financial separation on divorce, even if you do not intend to remarry, as failure to do so can result in dire consequences.
The best example of this is the case of Wyatt v Vince, a case which gathered national attention. Ms Wyatt and Mr Vince received their decree absolute of divorce. Mr Vince then went on to become a millionaire businessman as the founder of energy supplier, Ecotricity. Twenty years after decree absolute, Ms Wyatt made an application to the court for a financial remedy. Mr Vince tried to have her application struck out, given the time that had passed. The court decided that she was entitled to make it, and that there was no time limit. Whilst she did not receive the amount she sought, an award was finally made by the court.
The case teaches us that seeking legal advice, and early on, is not only sensible but essential. Failure to do so can leave parties without closure, unaware of their rights to financial relief, potentially with large legal bills, vulnerable to financial claims by their ex-spouse in the future.
Here at Farleys our dedicated family law team have a wealth of experience in handling divorce settlements. To discuss your options and take detailed advice contact us on 0845 287 0939, send your enquiry by email, or speak to an expert on our online chat at the bottom of this page.