New Court ruling may see the end of ‘Meal Ticket For Life’ settlements
The Court of Appeal in England handed down their judgement in the Waggot divorce case this week, with the decision signifying a sea change in how courts regard maintenance.
Kim Waggot, split from her multimillionaire husband William Waggot, the finance director of TUI Travel, in 2012. In the subsequent divorce he was ordered to pay almost £10 million to Ms Waggot, together with £175,000.00 per year for life. Ms Waggot felt that the settlement was not enough and lodged an appeal in which she sought an additional £23,000.00 of annual maintenance. Lawyers acting for her husband disputed this and argued that the original ruling was wrong as it meant that it meant Ms Waggot had no ‘financial incentive’ to get back to work.
In the Court of Appeal, Lord Justice Moylan rejected her claim and ordered that the award for annual maintenance, that had previously been for life, should stop in 3 years’ time. The reasoning for this was that there should be a clean break between the parties. The Judge further pointed out that Ms Waggot could get a job in order to get more money and this would prevent ‘undue hardship’.
This landmark decision could have seismic consequences for future divorce settlements in relationships where one spouse earns much more than the other.
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