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Court of Appeal makes landmark divorce ruling

Solicitors in London

News article published on: 25th February 2015

The ex-wife of a millionaire racehorse surgeon has been told by a Court of Appeal Judge to get a job after ruling that her ex-husband does not have a duty to support her for life.

Mr Wright, who runs an equine hospital in Newmarket was ordered to pay his ex-wife and their children £75,000 per year in maintenance and school fees upon divorcing in 2008. In 2014 the High Court heard how he was worried that supporting his ex-wife would be financially unaffordable upon his retirement at 65 year of age.

The High Court ruled that Ms Wright had not demonstrated why she could not once again begin working in an effort to support herself and ordered that her personal maintenance payments must stop. This ruling has now been upheld by the Court of Appeal.

Mark Freedman, expert finances and divorce lawyer at Osbornes comments:

The ruling in this case represents a further shift in the legal landscape and signals the end of maintenance awards being viewed as lifelong awards. It sets a precedent that in certain circumstances it is not unreasonable to expect mothers to re-enter the workforce and make a contribution to funding their own lifestyle. It will be interesting to watch how closely this ruling is relied upon in future divorce cases and when thrashing out financial settlements”.

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