According to the Daily Mail’s article on the case, Mari Vindis was left just £36,000 by former husband Nigel Vindis, who died of an illness in April 2013. Of his £12 million fortune, earned through his nationwide car dealership chain, Mari believes she is entitled to half. She has now gone to court to argue the case, which has also led to a rush of claims from other relatives.
Looking into the case, Liverpool divorce solicitors Tracey Miller has uncovered a surprising request made by Mrs Vindis. She is reportedly asking the High Court to effectively re-write her former husband’s will, to ensure that adequate provision is made for her. She believes that had Mr Vindis lived to finalise the divorce, he would have agreed to give her £6 million of the couple’s fortune as a settlement, rather than the £36,000 he left in his will.
If granted, this kind of ruling would be highly irregular for the High Court, if not a first in the modern history of UK partnership law.
Explaining why Mrs Vindis is asking for this, her barrister David Rees said:
“Mari brings her claim as Nigel's widow. They met as teenagers when Mari was 16 and Nigel 18.
“This is a case where the whole of the value of Nigel's estate has been built up during the course of the marriage. The marriage was a partnership.
“The court is required to take into account the provision which Mari might reasonably have expected to receive if on the day on which the deceased died the marriage, instead of being terminated by death, had been terminated by a divorce.
“The family took expensive foreign holidays, travelling first class and staying in five star hotels. Mari's reasonable needs include provision to enable her to travel and continue to enjoy such holidays.”
There is naturally opposition from the couple’s two adult children, 26-year-old Gabriella and 28-year-old Alexander, to whom Mr Vindis left the bulk of his large fortune in his will. If Mrs Vindis is successful in her claim, their inheritance will be greatly reduced.
Further complications in this case come from the late Mr Vindis’ sisters Sonjia and Theresa, both of whom are believed to be mounting what has been described as a “hostile” claim for a share of the businessman’s fortune.
Unfortunately, some divorce cases can end up as complicated as this – mostly revolving around money. If you’re experiencing this kind of situation, you need an expert in your corner to help guide you through the process unscathed and with what you’re entitled to. Get in touch with the team at Tracey Miller, specialists in all aspects of Liverpool and Wirral family law.