Doctor claims maintenance award is excessive

Divorce|May 17th 2016

A doctor has claimed spousal maintenance payments to his ex-wife force him to work sixty hour weeks.

Following their divorce in 2011, the obstetrician, 39, was ordered to pay his former wife £1,070 a month in spousal maintenance, plus an additional £600 a month in child maintenance. He claims these payments have forced him to work up to 56 hours per week or more.

He argued in the Court of Appeal that this amounted to unfair treatment and that it had been wrong to expect him to work more than 40 hours per week to support his ex-wife.

The doctor told Lady Justice King that he wanted the payments cut so he could reduce his working hours and have free time to spend with the couple’s daughter.

The former couple originally met as students and  married in 2000. They had one child. The doctor’s ex-wife studied physiological sciences (a diagnostic branch of medicine) at Oxford University and is now an academic at the same institution.

According to a report in the Telegraph, when the couple divorced she was awarded 70 per cent of the family’s assets , much of which have since been invested in property.

The Judge who heard their original settlement had overestimated his income, been too generous to his ex-wife and left him without enough to meet his needs, the obstetrician insisted. She (the Judge) had also been wrong to divide the family’s assets unequally, he suggested, adding:

“The way my former wife has conducted this litigation has manipulated judges.”

A previous appeal against the maintenance award failed after the Court of Appeal said the doctor had submitted sufficient evidence. Since then he has run up arrears and received an enforcement order.

The Judge reserved her ruling.

Author: Stowe Family Law

Comments(6)

  1. Andy says:

    This example just sums up the lengths ex partners go to to demand funds from the non resident father.
    If that was not enough the original judge supported in today’s terms majority financial gain by milking the system and on top of that expecting extra funds to support her lifestyle…
    This is what the out of date courts still apply where both parents can earn the same salaries..so why still heavy weighted generous division..
    Just shows the broken legal system is corrupt from bottom to top…
    No wonder fathers commit varying suicide objectives when you have this to face…

    Who is robbing who..time the law was dug out of droconian ideas to today’s answere…in short a joke.

    • Luke says:

      The problem here Andy is primarily not about being a father – it’s about being a HUSBAND – you can avoid most injustices that the courts want to mete out – e.g. in this case losing 70% of the family’s assets and unreasonable spousal maintenance – to men simply by not being so stupid as to sign the marriage certificate.

  2. pete says:

    It is about time that reform of family law to provide a fairer deal for fathers/husband took place. For too long the judiciary and the government have dragged their heels as the issue is to political with female rights groups and the political concept of promoting marraige. The legal profession are still making significant money from divorce albeit with changing ways of working. It is all taking too long and men are not collectively good at forming a significant rights movement with political credibility. I’m glad that this guy has taken a legal stance and lets hope that it is the start of the end of the gravy train for greedy ex spouses bent on causing financial hardship for their husbands. It has been a national scandal for too long.

    • spinner says:

      “It is all taking too long and men are not collectively good at forming a significant rights movement with political credibility.” – Men are willing to put up with a lot and as you say are poor at organising so it’s taking time. To be fair to us though the odds are stacked against us, there is a minister for women but there isn’t one for men and when I’ve tried to take this further with my female MP and the female minister whose responsibility this is it predictably I got the answer of basically everything is fine and I should stop moaning.

      • Pete says:

        This is an appalling response on the part of a politician. It is about time that men formed a ‘politically credible’ rights movement and brush off the legacy of father’s organisations been seen as a social nuisance. I for one would fully support a whole new approach. Well overdue…

        • spinner says:

          If you have a minute you may like to look at Baroness Deech’s Financial Reform bill that she has created in 2014 and 2015. For me it resolves a lot of the issues I personally have with the system, if like it one way to support it would be to write to your MP and reference it and ask if they have had a chance to read it and would they consider supporting it.
          services.parliament.uk/bills/2015-16/divorce.html

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