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.
After attempting to appeal against the family court's decision to cut her maintenance, mother of two Tracey Wright, 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 Wright – 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 Wright 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.
This article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. It should not be used as a substitute for legal advice relating to your particular circumstances. Please note that the law may have changed since the date of this article.