Kathleen Wyatt wins right to take her former husband, wind farm entreprener Dale Vince, to court despite not lodging a claim until nearly 20 years after their divorce
A former New Age traveller whose ex-husband became a millionaire more than a decade after they separated has won a cash fight in the Supreme Court.
Kathleen Wyatt wants a payout from Dale Vince - although she did not lodge a claim until nearly 20 years after their divorce.
A judge ruled that her claim should go ahead following a High Court hearing.
Court of Appeal judges overturned that decision, ruling that the claim should be blocked after Mr Vince, 53, complained it had been lodged too late.
But five Supreme Court justices ruled in favour of Ms Wyatt on Wednesday after analysing the case at a hearing in London in December.
Justices were told that the couple met when students, married in 1981, when in their early 20s, and lived a New Age traveller lifestyle.
Dale Vince has made a fortune from his company Ecotricity
The couple separated in the mid-1980s and divorced in 1992.
In the mid-1990s Mr Vince began a business career and went on to become a green energy tycoon after launching a company called Ecotricity.
Ms Wyatt, 55, lodged a claim for "financial remedy" in 2011.
Deputy High Court judge Nicholas Francis gave her claim the green light in 2012 but three appeal judges blocked the claim in 2013.
Now the Supreme Court justices have said it should go ahead, saying that a judge in the Family Division of the High Court should now analyse her claim..
They were told that Ms Wyatt wants £1.9 million.
One justice, Lord Wilson, said her claim was "legally recognisable" and not an "abuse of process".
Mr Vince takes part in the Brighton to London Future Car Challenge
He said a £1.9 million payout was "out of the question" but he said justices thought that there was a "real prospect" that she would get a "comparatively modest award".
Mr Vince said the decision was "mad".
In a statement, he said: "I'm disappointed that the Supreme Court has decided not to bring this case to an end now, over 30 years since the relationship ended.
"We both moved on and started families of our own. For my part the passing of time is extremely prejudicial, it's been so long that there are no records, no court has kept anything, and it's hard to defend yourself in such circumstances - indeed the delay itself has enabled the claim, because there is no paperwork in existence.
"I feel that we all have a right to move on, and not be looking over our shoulders. This could signal open season for people who had brief relationships a quarter of a century ago... it's mad in my opinion."
Ms Wyatt said after the hearing: "It's an important judgment."
Ms Wyatt's solicitor, Barbara Reeves, added: "Financial claims generated by marriage cannot be extinguished arbitrarily by guillotine.
"Our client has had a very difficult time and we are very pleased."
As if there weren't enough reasons to not get married (divorce favours women, family courts favour women, women have authority over men in the marriage etc etc etc; just look at the average MRA or MGTOW website if you want more on marriage stats and stories). In short: men in England should avoid marriage because women, the feminist-friendly government, and the judiciary are hostile to them.