This is a striking ruling of the Supreme Court that underlines the fact there is no time limit for ex-spouses to apply to a court for a financial settlement following a divorce, however weak their claim may be.
The judgment is also a timely reminder that divorcing couples who want protection from such claims, even if they have no money at all, should obtain an order from the court at the time of the divorce, in which they both agree that there will be no further financial claims.
Lord Wilson said Ms Wyatt had raised her son through "sixteen years of real hardship". He held that her claim was "legally recognisable" and not an "abuse of process", although the £1.9m payout she had hoped to secure was too high an amount.
A woman has won a landmark Supreme Court bid to claim cash from her millionaire ex-husband 20 years after they divorced. Kathleen Wyatt, 55, had lodged the claim against Dale Vince, 53, founder of wind-power firm Ecotricity. Mr Vince had previously appealed successfully against Ms Wyatt's claim on the basis it was too late. But five Supreme Court justices unanimously ruled in her favour when they gave their verdict earlier. Delivering the ruling, Lord Wilson said the court must have regard "to the contribution of each party to the welfare of the family, including by looking after the home or caring for the family".