Compensation for sacrificing your career?

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05 March, 2020

Judith O'Brien

In a recent ruling, Mr Justice Moore awarded a woman compensation in the sum of £400,000 following the breakdown of her marriage.

The couple were married for almost 10-years and had two children. When the parties met, she was a Cambridge University Graduate and a trainee solicitor at the same firm where he was an Associate Solicitor. Following their engagement, she became in inhouse lawyer.

A version of the judgement states 'It is agreed that the husband did not want her to remain at the firm if they were to marry and she accepted that she could not remain. I am satisfied that, by the time the decision was taken to leave, she had formulated her plan which involved both marriage and, hopefully, children. She viewed herself as the parent who would take primary responsibility for the children. The husband's career took precedence.'*

The Judge concluded that she had "sacrificed" her career to support her Husband and to raise their children and she should be compensated for doing so.

A 'relationship generated disadvantage' is often applied when one party has given up their career to care for their family. In this case, the client sacrificed a potentially lucrative career to take care of their children.

The Judge did go on to make clear that the decision should not open the floodgates to a whole host of relationship generated disadvantaged claims, but, it is clear that the Judgement affirms that in exceptional circumstances the principal of compensation still exists in Family Law.

Clearly, this would apply to whichever partner steps back in their career to put their family ahead of their own ambitions and earning capacity.

If you require advice as to the appropriate Financial Settlement following a marriage breakdown then please contact Judith Wright in our Family/Divorce department on 01772 220 022 or speak to a member of our Family team on 01254 580 000. Alternatively send any questions through to Forbes Solicitors via our online contact form.

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