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.