Imagine you've gotten divorced. Five years down the line, you begin a company with your own money and your own ideas, and it eventually becomes successful — very successful. Then, out of the blue, your ex-spouse's lawyer informs your attorney 20 years later that they want a piece of that very successful business' revenue. Crazy, right? Well, in the U.K. this week, we found out an outcome like that is now a reality.
That's the story behind the sudden reopening of the divorce between now-green energy tycoon Dale Vince and the wife he divorced in the early '90s, Kathleen Wyatt. Their story goes like this — the two met while they were hippies in the early '80s and traveled around the U.K. amongst the New Age crowd. They had a son, but their differences cracked the foundation of their marriage by the mid-'80s when they got separated, and divorced in 1992.
Soon thereafter Vince began a very successful energy company, Ecotricity, which claims to be "the world's first green electricity company." He began the company based on a wind turbine he had made to power his caravan, and was now worth an estimated £107 million ($157.7 million U.S.).
Wyatt, who had custody of their son, lived a life close to poverty, according to her claim. Wyatt lodged her claim for "financial remedy" in 2011. The High Court accepted her bid but the Court of Appeal overturned the decision.
Now the Supreme Court -- the highest in the land -- has ruled the case should go ahead in the lower High Court. Judge Lord Nicholas Wilson said Wyatt's claim was "legally recognisable" and not an "abuse of process." He did say that the £1.9 million she's seeking is high, but the Supreme Court judges thought that there was a "real prospect" that she would get a "comparatively modest award"
Former hippy wins right to claim ex's post-divorce wealth (Yahoo)