A landmark decision has been made this week regarding divorce settlements and, in this case the husband’s obligation to fund his ex-wife’s lavish lifestyle following the break down of their marriage.
The case in question involved the divorce of millionaire horse surgeon, and his duty to pay a substantial monthly maintenance settlement to his ex wife.
Originally the court held that Mr Wright, one of the UK’s leading equine surgeons was required to pay his ex wife an annual income of £75,000. This amount was intended to cover the cost of their children’s private schooling and general maintenance, with £33,200 being allocated for her personal upkeep. In the settlement Mrs Wright also received a £450,000 mortgage free house complete with stables and was consequently making no outgoing payments in terms of accommodation for herself and her children.
This led to Mr Wright disputing the original settlement and taking the matter back to the Court with the aim of seeking a cut in the payments he was required to pay to his ex wife. Mr Wright argued that it was unjust that he should be expected to continue to support his ex wife into his retirement as she had made no effort to seek work or to assert a degree of financial independence.
In his ruling Lord Justice Pitchford sympathised with Mr Wright stating that no ex partner has a right to an income for life, and where the children are of the age of seven or above the mother or father is able to work for a living. The decision is anticipated to have a wider impact across the family courts in relation to all divorce settlements as Lord Pitchford has made it apparent that ex spouses will no longer be able to rely solely on the income of their partner and must take the necessary steps to assert some financial independence.
Here at Farleys Solicitors our dedicated Family law team have a wealth of experience handling high value divorce settlements. Our expertise in this complex area of law means we are well equipped to advise you on all aspects of the divorce procedure, proposing a solution tailored to your individual needs. To speak to a solicitor who specialises in separation and divorce contact Farleys on 0845 050 1958, alternatively please complete the online enquiry form.