My son was married for four years and is now divorced. He pays child maintenance through the CSA. They moved out of their rented house and both had their own car. There are debts in his name and no assets from the marriage except his very small pension entitlement, which he won’t get for another 25 years.
At the time of divorce proceedings he tried to get his wife to consent to a Clean Break (even though there is nothing of note to share) but she ignored all solicitor approaches. She is in receipt of benefits (as she was when they were married) and has not remarried. He has remarried. He does not want to make any claim on her but wants to go to court to get a clean break declared.
Can he still apply to the court now that he has remarried?
He is in work but is not particularly well off and has no savings. (I continue to help him out, as parents do, when necessary). In twenty or thirty years time he is likely to inherit a lot of money and property. If he can’t get a Clean Break and his ex-wife never remarries, can she still have a claim on him when he inherits? And if so, what can I do to avoid that scenario?
Did your son not seek legal advice for the divorce and before he remarried? There is a bar to someone who has remarried making a new application for financial orders (although not pension sharing.) If your son applied for divorce it is usual not to cross out the financial orders in the prayer so in effect an application was made at the time of divorce and can proceed. On the other hand if his ex-wife was the Petitioner he could be stuck in limbo.
In any case if there are children he might not be able to achieve a Clean Break. When there are children some judges will insist that there is nominal spouse maintenance, say £5 per annum, as insurance so that the order can be varied to prevent the children suffering undue hardship should a parent with the majority of care hit hard times.
As time passes it becomes less likely that financial claims will be successful, but the possibility of success can''t be discounted altogether. You need to take your own legal advice as to the best way to leave your estate.
Yes, he did have legal advice, but he must have forgotten (or chose to override) the bit about not being able to making a new application when he remarried. His wife was the Petitioner and the Ancillary Relief was not crossed out in the Petition but she has not claimed any spousal maintenance.
The need to review my will now seems to be a priority.