Family - husband's 24 year delay to apply for financial remedy allowed to proceed

A recently reported case perhaps underlines the facility with which husbands and wives may make financial application against the other even many years after they separate or divorce.

A v B [2018] EWFC 4, [2018] ALL ER (D) 98 (May)
This case concerned an Application for Financial Remedy by the husband against the wife 24 years after they had divorced. Both parties had re-married but the husband, who was in this case the financially weaker party, remained financially dependent on his former wife.

Family Procedure Rules 2010
Provide that a party may apply to the Court to strike-out the other’s Application, or that the financial remedy claims be dismissed. Such Application was made by the wife but was not successful and therefore it was decided that the husband’s Application for Financial Remedy would proceed.

Unsurprisingly, the wife’s arguments for strike-out included the husband’s substantial delay (24 years) in making his Application for financial remedy. However, given the husband’s financial reliance on the wife, and the fact that they has always been able to deal with matters amicably, (therefore litigation not having previously been considered), the Court found that the husband’s delay was not unreasonable.

Although the husband’s claim is to proceed, the Court did comment that if some of the wife’s objections were, at trial accepted by the Court, they might well have a significant impact on whether the husband will be entitled to any financial award at all.

On separation or divorce, it is always worth fully exploring with a Family Solicitor the potential merit in making financial application and the potential consequences of not doing so.