A woman who left behind her career to raise her children has won her divorce case, in a landmark ruling.
The mother-of-two quit her job as a solicitor for the good of her family so that she could raise her and her husband’s young children.
And in a landmark ruling, the Cambridge graduate has won compensation from her divorcee, as well as an equal share of the family’s wealth.
The mother and her millionaire husband, who is also a solicitor, were fighting each other over the family’s wealth after their marriage broke down.
And a judge has now made the decision that the couple, who were married for around 10 years and share two children, should split their nearly £10 million joint assets equally.
However, the judge added that the woman should receive another £400,000 in compensation for giving up her legal career, as she had experienced a “relationship-generated disadvantage”, while her husband was able to go on to have a “stellar” career.
“[The woman] viewed herself as the parent who would take primary responsibility for the children,” said Mr Justice Moor. “The husband’s career took precedence. I accept that it is unusual to find significant relationship-generated disadvantage that may lead to a claim for compensation but I am clear that this is one such case.
“I have come to the conclusion that an appropriate sum to award for relationship-generated disadvantage, over and above her half share of the assets, is the sum of £400,000”.
Kingsley Napley LLP lawyer Jane Keir, who represented the woman, said the case could have implications for the future.
“As a talented lawyer, our client sacrificed a potentially lucrative career for her family and to care for the children,” she said.
“Although Mr Justice Moor has made clear this decision should not open the floodgates to a raft of relationship-generated disadvantage claims, the judgment affirms that in truly exceptional circumstances the principle of compensation still exists in family law, and rightly so.
“In theory, this would apply to whichever partner steps back in their career putting family ahead of ambition and earning power.”