Financial & Legal News

Big Money Divorce Case is Landmark Ruling for Stay-At-Home Mums

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A recent case where a judge has told a mother to get a job as she has no right to be “supported for life” following her divorce could have a significant impact on high-net worth divorce cases.

Lord Justice Pitchford in the Court of Appeal rejected her challenge to the decision to slash her future maintenance.

He told mother of two Tracey Wright, 51, that divorcees with children aged over seven should work for a living.  He also ordered that personal maintenance payments must end and there be a tailing off period leading up to Mr Wright’s retirement.

Commenting on the decision, Family Partner at Pearson Solicitors, Daniel Prince said:  “Whilst this clearly was a high net worth case it could well have implications on many smaller money cases, involving a stay at home parent who is in receipt of, or expecting to receive spousal maintenance.

“I would now expect a more forceful approach from the paying spouse for the maintenance to cease when a child reaches seven-years-of-age and this judgement is going to be widely quoted.”

Mrs Wright had a £450,000 mortgage-free property, £75,000 in maintenance and school fees after her divorce, with £33,200 for her personal maintenance.  He ex-husband made an appeal for a reduction in his bills saying it was unfair to support his ex-wife indefinitely in his retirement and he was worried payments would be unaffordable, whilst she had made “no effort whatsoever to seek work”.

Supporting his argument, Lord Justice Pitchford added:  “The time had come to recognise that, at the time of his retirement, the husband should not be paying spousal maintenance.”

“There is a general expectation that, once children are in year two, mothers can begin part-time work and make a financial contribution”.

For advice on your divorce contact Pearson Solicitors Divorce Team on 0161 785 3500 or email


Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

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