A relative of mine is currently going through a divorce and his ex is trying to bleed him dry despite being given more than a fair lump sum TWICE, all done verbally and privately before the Decree Absolute. He has thought about the possibility of signing all his assets over to his first wife, who is now probably his best friend - really, she can be trusted!. there was never a settlement as such in this first divorce, it was all very amicable. Would her claim if she made it take precidence over wife number two?? A long shot I know, any thoughts or advice would be great.
The first thing you need to know is that a Court has wide powers to set aside a disposition that was made with a view to defeating the wife's claim for ancillary relief.
Common sense dictates that if your relative's second wife
has already had a payment made, this sum ought to count towards her overall settlement, but I would certainly advise against making any such payments on account without a Court order as it might possibly be prejudicial.
You ask whether the first wife could make a claim. I would say this depends on what was in the order when the first divorce took place. If there was an order which dismissed her claims, then the answer is almost certainly no. In general, and with a few exceptions, a property transfer order is final and cannot be re-opened. It could be relevant whether the first wife has re-married.
If there is no order at all and the first wife's claims have not been dismissed, it is possible, though unlikely, that a late claim could be made.
For the reasons given, however, a transfer of assets to the first wife could be vulnerable to challenge.