Kathleen Wyatt has been granted the right by the Supreme Court to seek a pay-out from her ex-husband Dale Vince two decades after they divorced.
The ruling seems to undermine the assumption that there is a time limit preventing divorced partners from claiming money from their former spouses years after the fact.
Why the big fuss?
Mr Vince, 53, launched his highly successful business career several years after he and Ms Wyatt were divorced in 1992 – he is now worth £107m after founding his company Ecotricity.
In their 20s, the couple had a son called Dane and lived a New Age traveller lifestyle before their separation in the 1980s and later divorce, the court heard.
Ms Wyatt, 55, has tried to claim £1.9m from Mr Vince, saying she had raised their son through “16 years of real hardship”. But Mr Vince said the claim at that late stage was an “abuse of process”.
Why has it come up now?
The Supreme Court today ruled that Ms Wyatt could bring her case to the family courts.
She lodged her initial claim in 2011, after which it was taken all the way through the legal system to the High Court, then the Court of Appeal and finally the highest court in the land.
Is the court’s decision actually ‘mad’?
That’s what Mr Vince called it, warning of “open season for people who had brief relationships a quarter of a century ago”.
He said the time between divorce and the claim was “extremely prejudicial”, adding that it had been enabled by the fact there was “no paperwork in existence”.