Should Multi – Millionaire Dale Vince Pay The Wife He Divorced 20 Years Ago Asks Pictons?

Yet another landmark court case hit the news this week when it was announced by five Supreme Court judges that the ex-wife of multi-millionaire green energy supremo Dale Vince is entitled to make a financial claim against her ex husband even though they divorced 20 years ago, before he had even started his hugely successful wind turbine business.

Kathleen Wyatt met Dale Vince, who is now worth an estimated £107 million and has been awarded an OBE, when they were both students. They married in 1981 and lived a new age traveller lifestyle with Ms Wyatt on benefits and Mr Vince was living in an old ambulance. They had a son, Dane, before they divorced in 1992. Vince started his wind turbine business from a turbine he made from recycled materials to power his caravan. He launched his energy firm Ecotricity in 1995.

In this week’s ruling, Lord Wilson acknowledged that Ms Wyatt had brought up her son in genuine hardship for 16 years and although he disputed her claim of £1.9m he did say that there was a prospect of her securing a more modest award.

Siobhan Rooney, a Partner and Family Law Specialist at leading regional law firm Pictons says “ This is an extraordinary case and it seems that Mr Vince was certain Ms Wyatt’s claim was too late. While the latest appeal in this case has seen that ruling, endorsed by a previous judge, overturned, I do have sympathy for both parties.

“Although Mr Vince began his very successful company after the couple were divorced, when a child is involved it is vitally important that no matter what the financial circumstances are of either partner, the parent who is the child’s primary carer should inevitably be supported, financially and otherwise, by the other parent.

“I don’t have the details of why Ms Wyatt lived in apparent ‘hardship’ for sixteen years but when someone is as successful as Mr Vince I think you would expect him to give whatever support he can to his child and the mother of his child. Virtually all divorces are complicated and potential emotional minefields. I always advise that where children are involved the main concern has to be the child or children’s welfare.

“This is a landmark ruling and it could certainly encourage a lot of ex wives particularly to come forward and stake a claim in their ex-husbands current wealth. We shall be watching the future proceedings with interest.”

If you need advice or find yourself in a similar situation please contact Siobhan Rooney on 0845 263 7505 or email her info@pictons.co.uk

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