Court denies wife “meal ticket for life”

by Carole Brennan

It has been reported in today’s Telegraph that an attempt by a Wife in a financial divorce case to have what is referred to as “ a meal ticket for life”  completely backfired after a High court Judge ruled that her maintenance should cease after 3 years. 

This was despite in her original case the court ordering maintenance indefinitely. Kim Waggot had received annual maintenance of £175,000.00 for life in 2012.  She went back to court to ask for an increase but instead the court ordered the maintenance to end after 3 years  giving the parties a “clean break”. Mr Waggot’s lawyer argued her maintenance should end in 2 years and then the wife should get a job. The Judge, Lord Justice Moylan said, “ The expression” meal ticket for life” can be used as an unfair  trope. I of course acknowledge that long term maintenance can be required as part of a fair outcome ( in a divorce). But it is plain to me the wife would be able to adjust without undue hardship to the termination of maintenance.” He decided she would be able to make up her income from using£ 95, 000.00 which was about 10% of her capital award on the divorce to invest and if she needed anymore she could get a job.

Anyone who is paying a maintenance order for life would be wise to take legal advice as to whether they can do something about the payment. Gone are the days that a marriage , even a long one means that a Wife does not have to work ever again. Although as the Judge said there will still be cases where this is necessary.