Ten years after Mr and Mrs Briers divorced, Mrs Briers made an application to Court in relation to the finances and was awarded £2.7 million, the Telegraph reports.
Mr Briers said that there was an agreement when they separated that Mrs Briers would keep the house worth £700,000, and receive £10,000 a year spousal maintenance. Mrs Briers said that although this is what happened, this was not a final agreement. No agreement had ever been drawn up.
During the ten years between the divorce and Mrs Brier’s financial application, Mr Briers’ Lambretta fashion business had increased in turnover from £1 million a year to £30 million a year. Although assets built up after separation should not be automatically subject to the sharing principle, they are resources that can be taken into account, and could be divided in some circumstances.
There are a couple of important points here. First, financial claims that ex spouses have against each other do not end on divorce. They only end when there is an agreement approved by the Court, or an order made by the Court (some claims also end on remarriage). Second, it is usually best to draw up an agreement and have it approved by the Court close to separation to guard against any increases in income and capital being taken into account in the future.
It is also worth noting that, if Mr Briers’ business had failed and he lost all his assets, he could have claimed half of the house that had originally been retained by Mrs Briers. So, the risk was not all his in not sorting out the finances at the time.