The son of Lord Wodehouse, known as the “most-married peer”, is now fighting to protect his own fortune in a bitter divorce battle.
The Honourable Henry Wyndham Wodehouse is said to be following his father’s footsteps, who paid millions in payouts during six turbulent marriages.
The Earl, now 61, was ordered to hand over a £90,000 lump sum in 2011 following the split from his second wife Ellen. The Judge ordered that any money he could not pay should come out of a £600,000 trust fund his father left for his family.
Mr Wodehouse appealed the decision, arguing that the Judge did not have the power to include the trust fund as part of his estate.
Approving the son’s appeal this week, Lord Justice McFarlane said: “There is a heaviness to my heart, because this litigation is now going to go on for a further time when it should have been put to bed years ago.”
Mr Wodehouse has been made bankrupt twice, once in 1990 and again in 2010, and says he may now not have access to the family fortune to pay his ex-wife with.
The Appeal Court was told how half of the money in the trust will go to his stepmother, and Mr Wodehouse may only get £20,000 “if anything at all”.
The family say the trust is “wholly discretionary”, meaning the trustees can exclude Mr Wodehouse at any time.
“He has no absolute entitlement to any capital from the trust, either on the death of the dowager countess or earlier,” the Court heard.
“He is one of 15 potential beneficiaries in a trust that is entirely discretionary.”
The case continues.