Judge ordered the former wife of a millionaire racehorse surgeon to get a job

The former wife of a millionaire racehorse surgeon was told by a family court Judge that she has “no right to be supported for life” following her divorce.

Mr and Mrs Wright initially divorced in 2008 after a 11 year marriage. When dealing with the financial aspects of the separation, Mr Wright was ordered to pay Mrs Wright £75,000 per year of which £33,200 was spousal maintenance, the remainder being for the benefit of the two children. In addition, the couple were ordered to sell the £1.3 million family home, with the proceeds of sale being divided equally between them.

Mr Wright took issue with the ongoing maintenance obligations and applied to the court to have them reduced. In his application, he stated that his wife had made no effort whatsoever to see work and therefore questioned why he should be expected to continue to pay maintenance to her.

On considering the application, Judge Lynn Roberts ordered that the £33,200 per year spousal maintenance should eventually stop and therefore set out a planned reduction up to Mr Wright’s retirement. Mrs Wright sought permission to appeal at the Court of Appeal which was dismissed.

When giving judgement, the court heard that it is not unreasonable to expect the mother to contribute financially and Lord Justice Pitchford told her that it was “imperative” that she finds a job.

Legally, the courts are required to bring to an end the financial dependence between parties as soon as possible as well as considering the factors set out in Section 25 Matrimonial Causes Act 1925.

To find out more information about what you are entitled upon separation, contact one of our very experienced family solicitors on 01743 285888 who can offer a fixed fee appointment upon request.

Moving in with your partner? Know your rights

Did you know that couples who live together have hardly any rights compared with married couples or civil partners? Don’t be fooled and take heed of the following advice;

  1. Buying a house- How you own the property can make a huge difference to your rights should you separate? If you own your home as joint tenants, you own it jointly and equally, this means that if you separate and you sell the house, the presumption would be that you would be entitled to half unless rebutted irrespective of how much you contributed to it. If you own your house as tenants in common, you can have uneven shares in the property reflecting the different contributions made. Finally, even if one person owns the house, the other partner may be able prove that they entitled to a share if they spilt up if for example they have financially contributed towards the substantial renovations on the property. Get advice from a solicitor before buying your house to avoid any difficulties should you separate.
  2. Renting a home- Putting the tenancy in your joint names avoids a situation where one person can legally evict the other from the property. However, be cautious. In the event that you leave the property and your name is still on the tenancy you will continue to be jointly liable for the rent and any damage incurred on the property up until the point that tenancy is transferred into the other partner’s sole name.
  3. Cohabitation agreement- This is a formal document reached between a couple dealing with the financial and practical arrangements of living together. The document can also cover how matters are resolved upon separation.  A cohabitation agreement is not legally binding and therefore either party can still make an application to the court and the court can decide to ignore the agreement, but it will generally uphold it if what has been agreed still produces a fair outcome.
  4. Make a Will- This is imperative if you want your partner to benefit from your assets or even stay in the home. If you have not made a will your property and assets will go to your blood relatives rather than your partner if you die.

To find out more information about cohabitation and how to protect yourself, please contact one of our specialist family solicitors on 01743 285888

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