News Archive for November, 2015

Financial Claims and Divorce

SUSAN HUGHES of DPA Law looks at the importance of ensuring that all financial matters are finalised at the time of divorce and a court order is obtained. Otherwise it could lead to future claims to a share of the wealth earned after the divorce.

This has been the case for Dale Vince who divorced his wife, Kathleen Wyatt, in 1992.  Little did he suspect that some 20 years later he would be faced with a court battle when she sought a 1.9 million pound pay out.

Mr Vince and Ms Wyatt married in 1981.  Both were living the lifestyle of ‘new age travellers’ and had no assets or steady income.  Mr Vince left Ms Wyatt in 1984 and the couple divorced in 1992.  Following their divorce Mr Vince invented a wind turbine from recycled materials that he used to power his caravan and later developed a business providing green electricity and became very wealthy with sole ownership of a company worth at least £57m.

In 2011 Ms Wyatt applied for a lump sum of £1.9m from Mr Vince and interim periodical payments (maintenance) to enable her to pay her legal costs. Although Ms Wyatt brought her claim some 22 years after divorce, in March of this year the Supreme Court ruled that because there was no financial order and no time limit in family law for making a financial order, there was nothing to prevent Ms Wyatt's claim from being successful and the High Court will now consider how much she should receive bearing in mind current law.

Whilst this may appear an unusual and perhaps somewhat extreme set of circumstances in that the majority of divorcees do not achieve such success and wealth it does highlight the importance of ensuring that all financial matters are finalised at the time of divorce and a court order is obtained. Otherwise it could lead to future claims to a share of the wealth earned after the divorce.

Financial claims within divorce are complex and there is a misconception that a decree absolute ends all financial commitments. This is not always the case. Unless an Order of the court is obtained setting out financial arrangements then an unsuspecting divorcee could be faced with a financial claim being brought against them many years into the future.

Susan Hughes comments “I have represented clients who at the time of divorce had agreed financial arrangements with their spouse to the extent that assets have been transferred but without a financial order only to find that some years later a financial claim is being brought against them by the former spouse.”

Susan went on to say “despite the fact that there may have been an arrangement agreed at the time of the divorce, the very fact that there is no financial order means that financial claims for maintenance, lump sum orders, property adjustment orders and pension attachment/sharing orders remain outstanding to be pursued at any stage in the future.  Those claims can also apply to assets acquired after separation and divorce as in the case of Mr Vince and Ms Wyatt.”

At DPA we understand that the costs of legal representation is a concern and we therefore offer various options which include:-
(a) An initial free half hour meeting
(b) Agreeing suitable arrangements for payment of legal fees which could include monthly payments or a deferment to conclusion of the case.
(c) If you need legal advice on any family matter but have a budget to work to then our Pay As You Go Scheme could be the perfect way forward for you as it puts you in control of your case and costs.

At what can be an extremely stressful and emotional time we at DPA Law are here to help with the legal knowledge to deliver the best outcome for you.

For more information please contact Susan Hughes 01554 749144 [email protected]

Posted by Peter Nicholas on Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at 03:31 PM

Sarah Matthews Explains Why You should be Prepared for any Eventualities

DPA Law Solicitors has a specialist department in Wills and Probate but offers much more than just a standard service.
Some clients attend our offices to draft a simple Will and two appointments may be all that is needed.

We also deal with clients regularly on more complex issues that require more detail with the emphasis on a more detailed, personable and caring service.

With the population living longer many families are having to deal with the damaging effects of Alzheimer’s and the preparation required in making sure loved one’s finances are in a complete and satisfactory order.

Sarah Matthews Lawyer for specialist Wills and Probate Department commented on a recent case “We recently had a concerned gentlemen contact us when his wife who had been admitted to a nursing home due to the progression of Alzheimer’s, which had devastated the family which unfortunately is becoming more and more familiar.  He needed to be able to deal with his wife’s finances and so we drafted the relevant Court of Protection forms to enable him to able to be appointed as a Deputy and reassured him we were here to help, we also made sure that if anything should happen to him that his share of the property would pass according to his Will and would not pass to his ill wife and thereby potentially be used in the payment of Care Home fees. 

Sarah Matthews stressed “It’s important that clients get these important details right at the outset so not to incur more pain and costs”

Sarah Matthews went on to say “We encourage clients to make a Lasting Power of Attorney while they still have the mental capacity to understand and sign documents as it is a much simpler and less costly process than applying to the Court of Protection”

The gentlemen’s wife unfortunately passed away, he asked DPA Law to deal with the administration of his late wife’s estate.  He was relieved not to have to deal with any matters himself but to be able to pass all responsibility and worry on to us as his solicitors.

Sarah Matthews commented “Clients should feel that that they can ask any question and this client has indeed complimented our friendly yet professional service.  We also offer a visiting service if you are unable to get to us.  We regularly visit clients at their home address, sheltered accommodation or care home in which they may be residing temporarily or permanently or at the hospital to which they may have been admitted.  Location should not prevent a client from seeing their solicitor”

At DPA Law we aim to take the worry and stress away from clients.  We are a proud member of The Solicitors for the Elderly and work to a strict code of conduct which appreciates the necessity in dealing with the vulnerable and elderly in a professional and sympathetic manner.

Should you have any concerns or wish to make a Will please contact Sarah on 01554 749144 or [email protected]

Posted by Peter Nicholas on Monday, November 16, 2015 at 10:33 AM

Calling all Landlords

You may have already heard that the Law is changing for Landlords in Wales.

The Welsh Government has announced that The Housing (Wales) Act 2014 aims to improve the supply, quality and standards of housing in Wales.

There are many key elements to the Act however, the most important changes that will affect all Landlords will be in the introduction of a compulsory registration and licensing scheme for all private rented sector Landlords and Managing Agents.

We all knew that the changes would be introduced this Autumn but until now, there was no specific date.

The Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty, Leslie Griffiths, has now announced that the new legislation will be introduced on 23rd November 2015.  From this date, every Landlord will need to register and apply for a license from the Licensing Authority at Cardiff Council. The Authority will keep a public register of all private Landlords and in future, tenants will have the ability to search the register to ensure a Landlord is registered and licensed to rent a property in Wales. To date, there has been no information as to how much this will cost landlords but we expect this information to be made available before the changes are implemented.

From 23rd November 2015, the Licensing Authority will have in place a team which will be known as the Rent Smart Wales Team and a website will be live and accessible to all. 

All Landlords and Managing Agents will have 12 months from the introduction of the new legislation to comply with the new obligations. 

By 23rd November 2016, the Act will introduce a range of enforcement powers, such as fixed penalty notices and prosecutions for Landlords and Agents who are not complying with their legal obligations.

All Landlords and Managing Agents now have a year to comply without fear of enforcement action.

If you require any further advice in respect of your obligations under the new Legislation, then please contact our offices on 01554 749144 or alternatively you can email [email protected] for further information.

Debbie Jenkins

Posted by Peter Nicholas on Friday, November 06, 2015 at 04:06 PM

Paralegal Vacancy

DPA Law in Llanelli is looking to recruit enthusiastic Paralegals, possibly with the view to leading eventually on to a training contract.

We invite all Law Graduates ideally those who have recently completed their LPC to apply.

We have positions available throughout the practice with also the opportunity of out of hours work.

Please send a covering letter and CV to [email protected]

Closing date 30.11.2015

Posted by Peter Nicholas on Friday, November 06, 2015 at 03:50 PM

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