Judge rejects challenge by divorced wife on reduced maintenance payments

Eight out of 10 applications for family mediation result in agreement, according to the chief executive of National Family Mediation, Jane Robey.

Jane Robey made this remark, in the wake of the comments by an appeal court judge that the ex-wife of a millionaire should seek employment and had no right to expect “an income for life” at her former husband’s expense.

The comments by Lord Justice Pitchford were made as he rejected a challenge by mother-of-two Tracey Wright to a decision by a family court judge to reduce her future maintenance.

In the divorce in 2008, the couple’s home was ordered to be sold and the proceeds split. Mrs Wright came away with a £450,000 mortgage-free house along with stabling for her horse and her daughters’ ponies. Her ex-husband was also ordered to pay her and the children £75,000-a-year in maintenance and school fees.

The ex-husband applied to the court to have the maintenance reduced. He said it was not fair that he be expected to keep supporting his ex-wife indefinitely, even after his retirement, while she made “no effort whatsoever to seek work.”

A family court judge told Mrs Wright to get a job, like “vast numbers of other women with children.” Sitting at the court of appeal, Pitchford rejected her challenge to the decision to cut her future maintenance and said that it is now “imperative that the wife go out to work and support herself.”

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