‘Belligerent, dictatorial’ husband’s maintenance plea rejected

family law

The Court of Appeal has rejected a 43 year-old solicitor’s bid to cut off his ex-wife’s maintenance.

When the couple divorced in 2011, she was awarded a lump sum of £555,000 and £723 in monthly spousal maintenance. The majority of the initial payment was for her share in the £800,000 Islington home they shared, which itself was part of a £1.2 million family fortune.

His wife is a senior law lecturer at Cambridge University. Throughout their marriage she had worked part-time at the university but after their separation she became a full-time faculty member. The husband then applied for permission to stop the maintenance payments, claiming she earned too much for them to be necessary. However he was denied by Judge Markanza Cudby who labelled his approach to the case “belligerent, unhelpful and dictatorial”, the Evening Standard reports. The judge went on to congratulate the wife for “getting herself back to work full-time with tiny children”.

Undeterred, the husband sought to challenge the ruling. At the Court of Appeal, his barrister argued that when the wife went full-time her increased salary “matched the level of maintenance he was paying, therefore she no longer needed it”.

After reviewing the evidence Lady Justice Macur and Lady Justice Eleanor King were not convinced by the husband’s claim. His former wife was “struggling” financially as “her outgoings exceeded her income” even after she had gone full-time they declared.

Lady Justice Macur added:

“That is why she needs maintenance going forward and why the [original] judge made the findings that she did”.

The husband’s appeal was rejected and he was ordered to pay his ex-wife a lump sum of £34,000 to cover four years’ worth of maintenance and £3,453 in legal costs.

A written version of the judgment is expected to be published later this week.

Photo of Cambridge University by llee_wu via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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1 comment

Stitchedup - February 1, 2017 at 3:39pm

3 lady judges, sounds like he was on a hiding to nowhere 🙂

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