The press have widely reported this Court of Appeal case this week, in many of them with more than a little schadenfreude : Mrs Waggott, who received a substantial capital settlement in her divorce settlement in 2012 as well as, gasp,  £175,000 a year maintenance payments in joint lives, had applied to court for an increase in payments. Not only did the court not increase her payments, but in accordance with its powers, it imposed a term or time limit of 3 years on her ex-husband's obligation to support her, after which payments will stop.

There can be no doubt that the case serves as a warning to any recipient of maintenance who is thinking of re-opening the court proceedings in this way. Once a case is back before the court, it can sometimes be a case of 'all bets are off'. 

There may be situations in which a bird in the hand might just be the most sensible approach?