Making Your Own Way

Our specialist team of family lawyers have noted a recent change in attitude taken by the Courts to spouses with a weaker earning capacity, when considering the level of maintenance they should receive on divorce. This is highlighted by an article in The Daily Telegraph today. A link to the article can be found here.

Our Specialist Family Lawyer, Andrew Woo, comments as follows:

"Where there is a disparity in the earning capacities of the spouses, it was established that in some cases the higher earner’s earning capacity was almost treated as an asset in itself and something that should be compensated for on divorce. That concept seems to have been almost abandoned save for in exceptional cases. The theme running through recent Court decisions is that the spouse in the weaker financial position can no longer necessarily rely upon the higher earner for life or remarriage. Generally speaking, the message seems to be that the Courts now expect the spouse in the weaker position to make their own way financially and not claim spousal maintenance (which is distinct from child maintenance) for much more than a few years, during which time they are expected to have taken action to maximise their own earning capacity. Clearly, what happens will depend on the circumstances and each case is different. Whilst The Daily Telegraph article referred to, makes reference to this applying to “richer wives”, it can actually apply across the board and to any case in which there is a gap between the spouses respective earning capacities".

If you would like to discuss an issue relating to family law, please email Andrew Woo on andrew.woo@bhrlaw.co.uk or contact him on 01237 427505.

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