No Consent Order
Mr and Mrs Jones married in 1993. They had a daughter, Lucy, who was born in 1999. The marriage broke down in 2008 after 15 years of marriage. At the time, the only asset of any significance was the matrimonial home which was valued at £250,000.00 and their respective salaries and pension assets at the time were similar.
It was agreed that Lucy would continue to reside with Mrs Jones and that the house would be sold and the net proceeds divided as to 60% to Mrs Jones and 40% to Mr Jones and that there would be a complete clean break between them. They purchased their own properties with the monies they had each received from the sale of the matrimonial home and Mr Jones provided child maintenance to Mrs Jones for the benefit of Lucy.
They decided that they would seek a divorce based on Mrs Jones's unreasonable behaviour. Matters were very amicable and they remained on friendly terms. Neither of them sought legal advice and they were unaware that the terms of their settlement should be detailed in a Consent Order for approval and sealing within the divorce proceedings. Some 12 months after the settlement was agreed, Mr Jones received £900,000.00 following the sudden death of a wealthy Aunt and just two months later, Mrs Jones was severely injured in a car accident rendering her unable to work again. Mrs Jones applied to the Court for spousal maintenance on the basis that she needed financial support due to being unable to work again and the fact that she had the ongoing care of Lucy who was now 10.
Although a financial settlement had been agreed at the time of their separation, a Consent Order had not been approved and sealed by the Court within the divorce proceedings so there was nothing legally binding in place. The door was therefore open for Mrs Jones to bring a financial claim for maintenance against her ex-husband.