The Court of Appeal has rejected a man’s bid to further change how much he pays his ex-wife.
The former couple married in 1988 and had three children before they separated in 2013. During the marriage, the husband earned a significant salary so the wife was able to stay home with the children and the family still enjoyed “a good standard of living”.
Following their “bitterly contested” divorce the husband was ordered to pay his former wife £2,000 each month. This figure was based on the husband’s income of £6,250 per month. The initial judge ruled that once the children’s school fees, his own living expenses and the money towards his wife had been taken away, the husband would be left with a “surplus” of £2,000 each month.
However, the husband was also ordered to pay the mortgage on the matrimonial home until it could be sold. These payments were £ 3,867 per month and, as a result, wiped out his income “surplus”.
In response, the husband applied for a ‘variation order’ to reduce his monthly payments to his ex-wife to £800. He claimed that as the wife started a full-time job shortly after the original decision, she would not need as much money each month from him to meet her needs. The judge in that hearing made the requested order but only reduced his payments from £2,000 to £1,750 per month.
Unsatisfied with this outcome, the husband launched an appeal against the variation order. Mr Justice Moylan declared that the husband’s lawyer had “failed to demonstrate that the judge’s approach … was flawed”. The husband’s “income had not decreased to any material extent” and his “housing needs were in fact met”, the judge explained.
Therefore Mr Justice Moylan dismissed the appeal. Lord Justice Floyd and Lady Justice Black, who also heard the case, agreed with the ruling.
Read the full judgment here.