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Woman who divorced millionaire husband told not to expect an income for life

Tracey Wright, a mother of two, was told by the judge that she could not expect an “income for life” from her ex-husband.
Lord Justice Pitchford stated that divorcees who had children  over the age of seven should work for a living, after complaints by her ex-husband that she had made no effort to get a job since their divorce.
Wright was initially awarded a £450,000 house, mortgage-free, and £75,000 per year in maintenance and school fees, after she separated from her husband Ian in 2008. Of this, £33,200 was for her own upkeep. He made payments promptly every month, but grew concerned that he would not be able to continue to afford such high payments when he reached retirement – and that Tracey had earning capacity but refused to look for work.
Mark Johnston, who was representing Tracey Wright, claimed that the responsibility to care for her 10-year-old daughter made it impossible for her to seek worthwhile employment for the next five years. Her older daughter is in boarding school. Johnson suggested that the judge’s order would mean the younger child experienced a significantly lower standard of living.
In response, Justice Pitchford remarked that the maintenance order “was never intended to provide the wife with an income for life”, and that “the onus will henceforth be on her. The world of work has innumerable possibilities these days. Vast numbers of women with children just get on with it and Mrs Wright should have done as well.”
Sharon McKie, specialist divorce solicitor at Atherton Godfrey, said: “The ruling has significant implications for the former partners of wealthy spouses, who can expect appeals to have their maintenance and child support awards cut as their children grow older.”
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