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Divorcee loses bid to secure "meal ticket for life" from ex-husband

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A Court of Appeal Judge has ruled that a divorcee who attempted to secure a so-called “meal ticket for life” from her ex-husband will have her maintenance payments stopped after just three years.

Ms Kim Waggott was married to her multi-millionaire ex-husband for 21 years, before divorcing him in 2012 after he had two affairs behind her back.

At the point of divorce, Ms Waggott was initially awarded a settlement of £9.76 million on top of £175,000 in annual maintenance payments.

Her finance director ex-husband, who holds a high-end job with travel company TUI, was ordered to continue to make these payments for the remainder of Ms Waggott’s life.

However, unhappy with the settlement the, 49-year-old mother-of-one returned to the Courts this year demanding a £23,000 increase to the annual payments.

Appearing at the Court of Appeal in London in recent days, she argued that the agreed maintenance payments were insufficient, while a disgruntled Mr Waggott protested the exact opposite – arguing that the previous ruling had left his ex-wife with “no financial incentive” to return to her job as a finance controller at UCI cinemas.

The Court heard that Ms Waggott had used her £9.76 million share of the “fruits” of their marriage to purchase a luxury property in an affluent part of Cheshire for some £2 million, as well as a holiday home in Spain.

Meanwhile, Mr Waggott and his new partner moved into a £1.9 million farmhouse in St Albans.

Examining the case, Lord Justice Moylan ruled that the maintenance payments should stop from March 2021 onwards, to guarantee the TUI executive a “clean break” from his somewhat demanding ex.

In his ruling, 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 [divorce] outcome.

“But it is plain to me [in this case] that the wife would be able to adjust without undue hardship to the termination of maintenance.”

He added that Ms Waggott ought to have no trouble making up the “shortfall” created by the loss of payments by investing a 10 per cent chunk of her previous settlement and living off the interest.

MFG Solicitors’ family team advise on divorce, cohabitation and all other aspects of family law. For more information about how we could help you, please contact us.