The case of Kim Waggott and William Waggott which was dubbed ‘the meal ticket for life’ has returned to court.

Kim Waggott had been awarded £9.7m in the original financial proceedings, with £175,000 in annual maintenance payments for the rest of her life. However Mrs Waggott considered the deal an unfair one as she would have to dip into her capital whereas Mr Waggott would not and so she asked the court for an additional £23,000 a year.

However rather than award her this, Lord Justice Moylan reconsidered the original order and ruled that the maintenance payments should in fact stop in 3 years’ time when their son reached the age of 16.

Lord Justice Moylan did not consider that Mrs Waggott would suffer “undue hardship” and that she could get a job if she needed more money or she could invest some of her initial payment and use the interest as additional income.

This decision is bound to have repercussions for other divorces. It is a clear indication that the law relating to spousal maintenance is moving to become less generous and there is more emphasis on a clean break and encouraging parties to become financially independent.

It also highlights the risk of litigation and in going back to Court.  Mrs. Waggot ended up worse off than had she accepted the original settlement.  Litigation can be a ‘roll of the dice’ and the outcome is not always predictable.

Emma Murphy – rhw Solicitors LLP 

If any of these issues affect you; whether that be you seeking to bring to an end to the maintenance you are paying or you are not, in fact, being paid your maintenance, then we can help.  Please contact a member of the Family Team on 01483 302000 or email guildford@rhw.co.uk