In what is being seen as a landmark ruling, the Court of Appeal yesterday said that divorcees with the youngest child over seven should be expected to go to work. This goes against the perception that London Courts are more generous in relation to maintenance for ex-wives, compared to Courts in other parts of the country and abroad.
In this case, the maintenance for life previously ordered was changed so that it reduces over five years and then ends. The Court felt that the ex-wife’s choice not to work after the divorce should not mean that the ex-husband should have to support her.
The Court accepted that Mr Wright, who runs a horse hospital in Newmarket, should not have to support his ex-wife even after he has retired. The Court said Mrs Wright had made no effort whatsoever to seek work or to update her skills. The Court did not accept that Mrs Wright having to care for a 10-year-old (the couple's older daughter being a boarding pupil at a public school) was a restriction on her ability to develop any kind of earning capacity over the next five years.
Lord Justice Pitchford said "there is a general expectation that once children are in Year Two of school, mothers can begin part-time work and make a financial contribution."
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