Get more time to pay with Klarna. Divorce Assistant Case Login

Can My Ex Claim My Money or Assets After Our Divorce?

Table Of Contents

    Can my ex-husband or wife claim any money after the divorce?

    Generally, a former spouse is entitled to claim against your money or assets at any point up until they re-marry unless you obtain a court-approved financial order.

    So yes, potentially.

    Use our flowchart below to quickly establish whether your ex-wife or husband has the potential to claim against your money or new house.

    Many separating couples are under the impression that getting divorced breaks all financial ties. But in fact, a divorce simply ends the marriage and enables both parties to re-marry in the future.

    For those hoping that a no-fault divorce would make splitting your assets easier, I’m afraid to say that the new law did not touch on separating money and assets.

    A divorce does not end financial commitments as husband or wife, which makes it possible for former spouses to claim against their ex in the future.

    This is of course unless a prenuptial agreement was signed before entering into the marriage or a postnuptial agreement was signed during the marriage.

    A spouse’s ability to submit a financial claim against you will depend on two factors;

    1. If they have remarried
    2. If a financial consent order was applied for and approved by the courts

    When you get divorced, you do not automatically sever financial ties with your ex-husband or wife – unless you obtain a financial order from the court, such as a clean break order.

    can my ex claim against me in divorce - flowchart

    A simple flowchart regarding divorce financial claims.

    Without obtaining a consent order a former spouse can claim money from their ex many years (sometimes even decades) after the divorce.

    Not only can an ex-wife or husband claim a portion of the money that existed within the marriage (eg if there were joint savings) – but, more importantly, they can also claim future earnings or financial windfalls.

    For example, in the case of Wyatt v Vince, future business success by one party meant that their former spouse could claim money many years after the divorce.

    Couples who don’t legally deal with their finances at the point of divorce can oftentimes find themselves in what is known as the ‘remarriage trap.’

    Can my ex-wife claim half of my new house after divorce?

    The only legal way to prevent your ex-wife from claiming against your new house after divorce is to obtain a court-approved financial order. Remarriage can always waive your rights to a financial claim.

    The ‘matrimonial pot’ which essentially comprises the collection of assets that need to be divided between a couple getting divorced will normally be split 50:50.

    However, as well as this initial principle of equality there is a separate one of fairness which can skew the equal division of assets (eg if any minor children are going to predominantly live with one parent, the other parent/spouse will often get a smaller percentage of overall assets).

    It all comes down to the individual circumstances of the divorce. In general, working out how to divide assets in a divorce will be resolved at the time of divorce with a financial settlement.

    In the absence of a clean break consent order, this matter may need to be dealt with long after the divorce.

    Can my ex claim money from my new partner?

    In the UK, your ex-spouse generally cannot directly claim money from your new partner during divorce or after the divorce has been finalised.

    However, your new partner’s financial situation can indirectly influence divorce proceedings and financial settlements.

    If you cohabit with your new partner or they provide financial support, this may impact the financial settlement. Courts consider your financial needs and circumstances, which include any financial contributions or support from a new partner.

    The court will consider all available resources when making financial orders. While your new partner’s assets are not directly subject to claims, their contribution to your household can affect the overall financial landscape.

    If your new partner contributes significantly to your living expenses, the court may determine that your financial needs are reduced. This could affect the maintenance or financial support awarded to you from your ex-spouse.

    In some cases, courts issue Mesher orders, where the sale of the family home is deferred until a specified event, such as children reaching adulthood. If you cohabit with a new partner, this may trigger the sale of the home, impacting the financial arrangement.

    Quick questions

    Can an inheritance be claimed after the divorce?

    The short answer is yes.

    A former spouse can bring an inheritance claim against your estate after divorce if you did not seek court approval to end your financial ties.

    Unfortunately, a common misconception for first-time divorcees is that when you get divorced you are no longer able to bring financial claims against your ex-partners estate.

    Can my ex-wife claim inheritance after divorce?

    Can my ex claim my pension years after the divorce?

    Pensions in divorce are considered a marital asset, and therefore the values of held pensions need to be calculated as part of the overall matrimonial pot for division.

    If you don’t sever financial ties with your ex when you get divorced through a court-approved financial order, they could be entitled to claim a share of your pension, even years after the divorce. These financial claims remain regardless if you get remarried.

    Read more: How Do Second Marriages Affect Divorce Settlements UK?

    Can my ex-husband or wife claim against my new house?

    Generally, it is advisable to deal with the division of finances, including property, pensions, and savings before obtaining a Final Order (decree absolute).

    Much like other assets, If parties do not obtain a clean break or financial order, then a former spouse can in theory re-open a claim against your new house in the future.

    Can I protect my finances or future wealth from being claimed against, if so, how?

    As we touched on earlier, there are only two legal scenarios that can prevent your ex-partner from being able to claim against you in the future.

    The first is probably beyond your control, if they should re-marry your spouse gives up their rights to claim against you.

    The second way is to obtain a financial order from the court such as a clean break financial order.

    These types of legal agreements prevent both parties from submitting a future claim against the other in the future.

    You can apply for a financial order after the conditional order (‘decree nisi’) is granted in divorce proceedings and any time up until one party remarries.

    However, a spouse’s rights to certain assets may be affected if you apply after the divorce is granted, such as rights to pensions.

    Not all couples can achieve a clean break, but there are other court orders available to help you protect your assets – read more about consent orders vs clean break orders.

    How long after divorce can my ex-wife make a financial claim against me?

    There is no time limit on how long after a divorce financial claims can be made by one former spouse against the other. This significant legal precedent was also established in the landmark case of Wyatt v Vince.

    The Supreme Court ruled that the former wife of a multimillionaire was able to claim money from her ex-husband nearly two decades after their divorce.

    The main facts of the case were as follows:

    • Dale Vince and Kathleen Wyatt were married in 1981
    • During their marriage they were poor new age travellers living on benefits; there were hardly any significant assets to distribute upon their divorce
    • Dale and Kathleen separated in 1984 and were finally divorced in 1992
    • After their divorce, Dale went into business and founded green energy supplier Ecotricity which led to him accumulating an estimated wealth in excess of £100 million

    In 2010, 18 years after they got divorced, Kathleen lodged a claim for financial support; although it was initially blocked by the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court overturned this ruling and established the precedent that there is no time limit for ex-spouses to make financial claims against one another.

    Was this article helpful?