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.