Lambretta fashion chain divorce highlights risks of not dealing with finances following a divorce

The case of Glenn and Nicola Briers has recently made headlines. Mrs Briers applied for a financial settlement 12 years after they divorced in 2005.

The case of Glenn and Nicola Briers has recently made headlines. Mrs Briers applied for a financial settlement 12 years after they divorced in 2005. The Court of Appeal considered an appeal made by her ex-husband, who is the owner of fashion chain Lambretta, which concerned, in part, whether her delay in making her financial claim should reduce her settlement.

The ex-husband argued that the court had not had sufficient regard for his ex-wife’s delay in making her application for a financial settlement, and argued that she should be penalised for that.

The Court of Appeal found that the trial judge had addressed the delay point fully. They reaffirmed previously decided cases, which indicate that delay in making a claim may “reduce or eliminate” an award.

In this case, the Court of Appeal determined that the judge’s decision to discount the wife’s claim to share in the family’s wealth, from 50% to around 30%, was a permitted use of his discretion.

The judgment makes clear that although a delay in launching a financial application does not prevent the court from making an award, if it is a case where it is argued that the resources should be shared between the parties, the court will apply a discount to the sum awarded to reflect the delay.

This stresses once again the importance of getting a final order at the time of a divorce. Without this, a party’s claims remain open indefinitely (unless they remarry) and can provide a nasty shock a number of years down the line.

Legal advice about obtaining a financial court order should be sought in every divorce case.

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