Spousal Maintenance cannot be ‘A Meal Ticket for Life’
A recent Court of Appeal decision has illustrated a change in the way the Family Court is considering spousal maintenance claims.
Tracey Wright, the ex-wife of racehorse surgeon, Ian Wright, appealed against a decision that his maintenance payments should be reduced on the basis that the payments fixed by the Court at the time of his divorce in 2006, would be unaffordable, upon his retirement at the age of 65.
Judge Lynne Roberts ordered that his payments should cease, subject to a tailing-off over a 5 year period leading up to his retirement and said that there was no good reason for Mrs Wright not to seek work following her separation.
As part of her divorce settlement, Mrs Wright received £33,200 per annum as maintenance for herself, in addition to child maintenance and school fees.
Lord Justice Pitchford, hearing Mrs Wright’s appeal, said that she should ‘just get on with it’ and seek employment like a number of other women with children.
Although the Judgment is not yet available, the decision highlights a change in how this sort of matter is to be dealt with and it seems that the prospects of securing a lifelong maintenance order are likely to be remote.
If you may be affected by the outcome of this decision, please contact Liz Hebden on 01756 700200 or [email protected]