Financial & Legal News

Wife sacrifices her Career for Family before Divorce

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Despite the day and age we live in, there is still a disparity between the sexes when it comes to earning potential and career progression. As is often the case in marriage relationships the women often sacrifice their own careers to support their husbands and to bring up their family.

Finances and Divorce

How the issue of such sacrifices should be quantified financially in the event of a divorce was addressed in an important High Court ruling.

Involved in the case were a former couple who met whilst working at a leading law firm.  As time went by they felt it inappropriate to carry on working together so he remained at the firm progressing to being a highly paid equity partner, whilst she took an in-house role at a bank for a fraction of his earnings and then later became redundant.

Once they were married they had two children together so she assumed the role of full time mum/home-maker and their marital home was worth £5.8million. Due to mental and physical health difficulties she hadn’t worked for some time before their 11 year marriage broke down and by which time of their divorce their joint assets were worth over £9.7 million.

Broadly speaking the Court stated that the former couple were in agreement to an equal division of their finances. However, the main area of contention between them was whether the wife should be compensated for the detrimental blow that their marriage set-up had caused to her legal career.

Career and Divorce

Discovering that she was a very talented lawyer the Family Court found that if she had stayed on at the firm she probably would have become an equity partner too, potentially earning equal sums to her husband. Taking key responsibility for their children she allowed her husband’s career to flourish over her own.

The Court awarded the wife an extra £400 000 to reflect the negative impact their marriage had upon her career and earnings potential.  She was awarded 54% of their total marital assets.

Karen Kenyon, Divorce and Family Solicitor for Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers said, “The facts of this case are pretty exceptional.”

“Our team of experienced family solicitors enables us to deal with all divorce proceedings and family matters in a sympathetic and efficient manner.  We specialise in the division of property, capital and pension issues that arise following a marriage breakdown.”

The Family Court noted that this case shouldn’t necessarily set a precedent for others looking for compensation for loss of earnings due to their role as “homemaker” role within a marriage.”

If you need advice on divorce and family please do not hesitate to contact our Specialist Resolution Solicitors in our Divorce and Family 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.

This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.

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