UK Divorce Ruling Over Case When A Party Dies – More Reactions (WealthBriefing)

27 July 2023

WealthBriefing has published an article on a ruling by the UK Supreme Court against a claim to pursue financial relief during or after divorce when a spouse has died.

The ruling came in a case where a wife sought financial relief from her deceased ex-husband's estate, exposing a "defect in law" that disallows posthumous financial settlements. Legal experts have expressed concern about the impact on elderly divorcees and those based outside England and Wales. They recommend initiating proceedings at the earliest opportunity and seeking swift resolutions to avoid assets being put out of reach. Some suggest that alternative claims can be made, such as under the Inheritance Act 1975, but these are more limited and only applicable if the deceased was domiciled in England and Wales. The court has urged Parliament to review the law, suggesting that the rights against a spouse do not survive death and require legislative reform.

Head of Family, Natasha Grande, comments in the article: "This judgment means that time is of the essence. The rate of divorce for elderly couples is on the rise. The clear message is move quickly. This can be problematic. In this case, the delay to final hearing was due to issues with the former husband's disclosure. There is another message both to provide full and frank disclosure in financial remedy proceedings, to reach a settlement."

Read the full article here

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