Can My Ex-Wife Claim Money After Divorce in The UK?

can my ex-wife claim money after divorce in the uK

Separating couples are often under the misconception that post-divorce all ties break, especially financial lies. But, getting a divorce means breaking the bonds of marriage and allowing them to remarry at any future time. So, the main question that comes to a husband’s mind is – Can my ex-wife claim money after divorce UK?

Can My Ex-Wife Claim Money After Divorce UK?

For those couples hoping that a no-fault divorce makes splitting all the assets easier, the new law does not touch the division of assets. But, a spouse’s financial commitment does not end when a divorce is finalized. This makes it possible for can wife to claim property after divorce. So, what is the ex-wife entitled to after divorce?

But this is of course if a prenup is not signed before entering the marriage.

A spouse’s ability to submit a claim depends on two major factors:

1. If the remarry

2. If the financial consent order gets approved by the courts

Getting a divorce does not mean you automatically sever ties with your ex-spouse. Not only can my ex-wife claim the money after the divorce UK but they can also claim future earnings.

This was seen in the judgment provided in the case of Wyatt V Vince [2016], EWHC 1368 (Fam), where future or potential business success by one ex-spouse meant that the other could claim financial stability for multiple years post-divorce.

The Supreme Court appeal Lord Wilson noted that “Consistently with the potentially life-long obligations which attend a marriage, there is no time-limit for seeking orders for financial provision or property adjustment for the benefit of a spouse following divorce. Sections 23(1) and 24(1) of the 1973 Act provide that such orders may be made on granting a decree of divorce “or at any time thereafter”.”

How To Protect Any Financial Gains I Have From Claims?

There are two ways you can legally prevent your ex-spouse in the age-old concept of can my ex-wife claim the money after divorce UK from claiming your property in the future.

1. If either spouse remarries then any claim is forfeited.

2. If a financial order such as the clean break order is obtained from the court.

These legal agreements can stop both parties from adding or submitting any future claims against the opposite parties’ financial gains.

How Long Can A Wife Claim Property After Divorce?

There is no actual timeline on how long a can wife claim property after divorce. This was established in the aforementioned landmark case of Wyatt v Vince. The Supreme Court decided that the former wife of a millionaire could claim nearly 20 years post-divorce.

The main case facts were:

1. Dale Vince and Kathy Wyatt got married in 1981

2. During their marriage, they were poor new-age travelers living off of benefits and there were no assets to distribute in the divorce

3. Dale and Kathy legally separated in 1984 and divorced in 1992

4. In 2010, after 18 years of the divorce, Kathleen lodged a claim in the courts for financial support. But it was blocked by the Court of Appeal. The Supreme Court overturned the decision and established this precedent as there was no specified time limit for financial claims.

This Case Highlighted The Surprising and Misunderstood Part of Divorce Law. 

Kathleen, the ex-wife, decided to make a financial application against her ex-husband, Dale, 19 years after the divorce. The relationship had already ended 31 years before the application. In those years, Mr. Vince built his empire by building eco-friendly wind turbines.

Lord Wilson held that the wife faced ‘formidable difficulties’ while pursuing financial support in this case. These included:

1. The marital life between parties existed for less than three years

2. The relationship ended 31 years ago

3. The living standard enjoyed by both parties before the breakdown of the marriage could not be lowered

4. The husband succeeded in business 13 years post-divorce

5. The wife directly or indirectly had no contribution to the creation of the business

Post expensive litigation charges, both parties agreed with the approval of the court. Ms. Wyatt was awarded £3000,000 from her ex-husband’s property and assets as compared to her claim originally of £ 1.9 million.

Ms. Wyatt compromised her claim due to the influx of legal costs which would be paid from the final amount received. This case proved to be one of the main reasons for adding a clean break financial order at the time of divorce and helped answer the question ‘can my ex-wife claim the money after divorce UK?

Can The Wife Claim Property After Divorce?

The ‘matrimony pot’ divides the collection of assets 50:50. But there is a concept of fairness involved that can alter the concept of equal division of assets. In cases where minor children are involved and they live predominantly with one parent, then that parent will get the bigger share of the assets.

So, what is The Ex-Wife Entitled To After Divorce?

In the end, it depends on the individual circumstances of the divorce. In general, this issue is solved during the time of the financial settlement of the divorce. If both parties can come to a mutual understanding then no court involvement is required. But if there is no Clean Break Consent Order, the matter will be dealt with post-divorce as well. This can cause spouses to lose money as ‘can wife claim property after divorce becomes a reality.’

What is a Financial Consent Order?

A financial consent order prevents post-divorce asset claims between the parties. It is a document used by courts to legally split the assets between the two parties. This financial order after the decree absolute order finalizes any intention of the division of assets like property, debts, pensions, and income. As it is legally binding and is granted by the Court, it cannot be removed or ignored by any party. So if you ask the question – can my ex-wife claim money after divorce UK? – then you know that claim is only till the joint assets are bought or earned during the marriage.

How Can The Divorce Agreement Be Made To Be Legally Binding?

A financial consent order is useful in cases of disagreements or domestic abuse cases where Court intervention is required. It is advised to obtain the order before filing for an absolute decree, as this requires third-party intervention. This financial order after decree absolute helps make things easier between both parties post-divorce saving all assets bought or earned post-divorce.

Additionally, once the order is submitted, it can take 6-10 weeks to process which the Court sees and decides on topics such as:

  • Sale of property or transfers
  • Division of pensions
  • Provisions of debt
  • Personal belongings like cars, pets
  • Childcare


When planning your divorce, you may wonder can my ex-wife claim money after divorce UK? There is no statute of limitations when it comes to individuals claiming their ex-spouse assets, unless there is a financial consent order in place or if one of the spouses remarries. But before the divorce can be finalized, it is important to complete the division of assets. This enables both parties to move on with their lives and avoid financial and personal burdens in the time to come.

Alternatively, if you feel like you are losing out on a share of spouses you should get, then reach out to a divorce solicitor. Even though there is no statute of limitation for claims, it is a time-consuming process.

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Jason Jones

Jason Jones is an experienced editor with a passion for the law. With a 10-year background in legal editing, He has honed his skills in ensuring accuracy and clarity in legal writing. He is dedicated to delivering high-quality content that educates and informs readers on various legal topics.