The ex-wife of a millionaire racehorse surgeon has been told by Lord Justice Pitchford to get a job as she has no right to be financially supported for life by her former husband – all whilst living mortgage free in a £450,000 home.
Mother of two Mrs W, was told by the judge that divorcees with children aged over seven should at least try to work for a living.
Substantial payments being made by Mr W – who claims he is worried that he won’t be able to afford them when he retires at 65 – will now gradually reduce over five years before stopping completely.
In addition the Judge added that the payments were never intended to provide Mrs W with a lifelong income in the first place.
Keystone’s Family and Matrimonial lawyer Claire O’ Flinn commented,
“This ruling is ground-breaking for divorcing husbands and wives alike and reflects a serious change in outlook on mothers being expected to return to work after divorce.
For many years the courts have been ordering husbands to pay spousal maintenance to their former wives for long after the husbands have retired and whilst the wives show no willingness to work or provide for themselves financially, often when they have an earning capacity.
Lord Justice Pitchford has said that ‘it is possible to find work that fits in with childcare responsibilities’ and criticised the wife for not updating her skills and for not seeking work because she expected to be supported by her former husband.
Husbands will rejoice in the judgment and wives may feel vulnerable but as each case is unique in its facts, divorcing clients should always seek specialist family law advice before agreeing to any settlement with their spouses.”
For more information get in touch with Claire O’ Flinn or your usual Keystone contact.
Claire is a consultant in Keystone Law’s Family team.
She is a highly experienced family solicitor who has specific expertise in resolving complex financial consequences of relationship breakdown whether based in this country or internationally.
Claire has particular experience in advising on private children issues; she advises on contact and residence disputes issues including the making and defending applications to remove children from the jurisdiction.
Above all, Claire is committed to helping couples part with dignity and to minimise the impact on the family. Claire provides clients with practical advice and workable solutions. She is a trained collaborative lawyer and also a contributor to published family law journals.