Divorce claim to future earnings based on fairness not necessity

By Lenore Rice

A woman who was awarded a £10million divorce settlement following her separation from her husband has told the Court of Appeal that she is entitled to a share of his future earnings.

Kim Waggot, aged 49, married William Waggott, aged 54, in 2000 and they had one daughter together. The couple were both accountants working for Coopers and Lybrand when they met, and in 2011 Mr Waggott became Chief Financial Officer of TUI Travel. Mrs Waggott had stopped work in 2002. The couple separated in 2012 when Mrs Waggott became aware that her husband had had multiple affairs.

A divorce payout of £10million was awarded to Mrs Waggott but she has also laid claim to a share of his future earnings, appealing a decision made by the Family Court in 2016. Her claim is not based on financial necessity, but rather on a principal of fairness, with Mrs Waggott saying she is entitled to a share of the "post-separation" fruits of his career because she supported him whilst he built up his career during their long marriage, and he will continue to reap the benefits of her sacrifice in his future earnings.

The Court of Appeal decision will be anticipated eagerly by divorce solicitors in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK as it will address the issue of whether financial settlements in a divorce should solely be based on financial necessity, or whether, as is claimed in this case, an element of fairness should be considered.

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