A woman who “sacrificed” her career as a solicitor so she could look after her children has won compensation on top of an equal share of the family’s wealth after her divorce.

The ruling could have implications for other divorce cases in which one partner has stepped back from their career for the good of the family, a lawyer said.

The Cambridge graduate was embroiled in a fight over cash with her millionaire husband, who is also a solicitor, after the breakdown of their marriage.

A judge has decided the pair, who were married for about a decade and have two children, should split assets of nearly £10 million equally but that the woman should get another £400,000 in compensation for curtailing her legal career.

How does that one work? She’s also not had to go to work for 10 years……

There’s also a certain amount of cakeism here. She made a decision about how to live her life, didn’t work out well, how sad. But another bite of the cake when it doesn’t?

44 thoughts on “Eh?”

  1. Trumps Judgeboy Beak purge should be the model here.

    Review ALL the UK wig-cunts decisions and invite the shite in their ranks to retire while they still have that option. Arrange a hiding for one or two of the worst using the old “he/she became enraged and had to be prevented from harming self or others” ploy.

    And reverse Bliars legal meddling. No more Supremes–chicken or otherwise.

  2. “In theory, this would apply to whichever partner steps back in their career putting family ahead of ambition and earning power.”

    In practice, chaps, forget it.

  3. And actually this business of sacrificing the career for the children is a perversion. I do a lot of childcare. Being self-employed facilitates it. But it also means my work rate is reduced and I’m poorer. But it’s not a sacrifice, for God’s sake. It’s a trade-off, and one I make willingly, based on a willing decision to have a child in the first place.

    Christ on a pogo stick, these are awful people.

  4. “stepped back from her career” doesn’t necessarily mean she became a stay-at-home mum. Sounds more like she swapped a 12hr/day City job + 2hr/day commute for a small local practice, possibly part-time. She still had to go to work most days.

    I don’t see how the judge came up with a figure of £400,000 though. If she had remained married, her future earnings prospects presumably wouldn’t be any different.

  5. What Doc Bud said.

    Didn’t judges used to award potentially quite a bit more to the woman as part of the split (than 50/50 of existing assets) – ie, as maintenance, even if it was settled as a lump sum instead – to compensate for the fact that they would no longer be able to earn as going forwards? In this case equal assets plus £400K sounds like quite a lot less than it might otherwise have been? Not saying what’s right, but simply commenting on the direction.

  6. Bloke in North Dorset

    A good friend with 3 kids works very hard and very long hours was persuaded by his wife to move to a nice area that added a couple of hours a day to his commute and meant more wok to pay for higher mortgage. He was happy to do it for them even though he didn’t see much of the kids during the week and was mostly knackered at weekends.

    She then decided she wanted a divorce and after doing the marriage counselling stuff its now going through. He’s made it quite clear to her that that level of sacrifice isn’t going to be maintained so she had better start cutting her cloth accordingly.

    I know many men who make sacrifices when they start a family, sacrifices they’re normally happy to make, but that’s rarely, if ever, taken in to consideration.

  7. What Edward said.

    Imagine finding out Mummy thinks spending time with you instead of being at work is a “sacrifice”.

  8. BiND – “She then decided she wanted a divorce and after doing the marriage counselling stuff its now going through”

    I’m sorry to hear it, and don’t mean to be glib, but I bet marriage counselling was also the wife’s idea. And I reckon he made a strategic mistake of going to a counsellor.

    That’s the female equivalent of goading you into invading Russia in winter. Counsellors, therapists and other forms of head-shrinkers are barren, hostile territory for normal blokes. They’re on Team Woman, and women intuit this because they’re cleverer than us about these things.

    The whole idea of talking about how the missus isn’t haaaappy to a stranger who probably did Woke Studies at Scumbag University is a bad one. Problems don’t get smaller in that context, they get magnified with the counsellor providing corroboration that you are, indeed, an insensitive brute.

  9. Even more reason for men a) not to marry, and b) if you must, marry someone with a nice simple job. Forget career women entirely.

  10. Bloke in North Dorset


    Funnily enough it was his idea. Nobody else involved and she went all funny on him and he wanted to try to make it work for the kids.

  11. I can’t help wondering with judgements like this why there aren’t more murders – wives AND judges.

    Just how expensive can it be?

    What did it cost, I wonder, to get Diana offed?

  12. MrsBud left school at 16 and when we married we agreed that she would stay at home and look after the kids (4) and the bloke with the degrees and high earning potential would go out to work. That’s all fine, equal contribution to the marriage. When the youngest reached a certain age, MrsBud decided to study Social Work and graduated as the only one in a class of 69 with a first class honours. She is now a highly regarded and in demand Mental Health Social Worker earning above Aus$100k, but had she qualified years ago, she’d likely be in a more senior position.

    Neither of us views what we have done as a sacrifice, we’ve worked together as a loving team to bring up four great kids, give them a good education and provide for our future.

    We have no plans to separate (confirmed that an hour or so ago), but the simple reality is that, my earning potential is five times what hers is, in no small measure due to me having an uninterrupted 40 year career. Had MrsBud had a longer career, the differential might only have been 2-3 times and I don’t see why she shouldn’t be compensated for that.

    As I said, we’re not planning on divorcing, currently at the Mantra Boathouse in Airlie Beach drinking 2016 McRae Wood Shiraz from the Clare Valley. Why the hell would we want to complicate our great life?

  13. My earning potential is decreased because I have gaps in my career because the economy refused to employ me. Who do I sue?

  14. The Devil is no doubt in the details, but this seems reasonable assuming the career/childcare decisions were mutual. At this point he’s at a much more lucrative point in his career than she is (basically a newbie) because of the joint agreement re: what’s best for the family.

    “She hasn’t had to go to work for 10 years” – seriously? Changing nappies, running errands, buying groceries, etc. – a lot of women (and most men it seems) prefer an office job to these tasks.

  15. Phil,

    Anything but, she was the only Social Work student rocking up to lectures in a Jag, she’d put the argument that taxes were to high and she said that she’d always put people before trees when they introduced an environmental course (it only lasted the one year).

    One of her professors told her that she’d very much miss her alternative take on life.

  16. Interesting concept that a divorce settlement should be adjusted to reflect the career a spouse might have otherwise had.

    Let’s see it applied the next time a premier league footballer gets divorced.

  17. jgh,

    “the economy refused to employ me”

    Is that a euphemism for having gaps due to being a guest of Her Majesty?

  18. BiND – ouch. Funnily enough, it’s the blokes who “tried to make it work” who usually get divorced, far as I can tell. Dunno if Zen-like indifference is a better option, but I get the sense that putting more conspicuous effort in just validates wifey’s feelings that she was being short-changed before.

    Love will tear us apart again.

  19. I mote that, as usual, the phrase ‘breakdown of the marriage’, is doing a lot of work. In whose opinion and why? And where did the 10 mil come from?

    Honestly, if you wrote all this nonsense down in a contract and asked prospective husbands to sign it, you could eradicate marriage altogether.

  20. Esteban, having extensive experience of both sides of the fence, my view is that childcare and keeping home are orders of magnitude easier and more pleasant.

  21. “But it’s not a sacrifice”

    We are mammals. We take care of our kids. We just do it. It is love.

    My X thought taking care of the kids was a chore. One of her core character defects.

    My adult son lives with me now. I have explained to him that you just take care of your kids. It’s something you do. He doesn’t really comprehend it. I didn’t either, until I had a kid.

  22. No mention of ongoing maintenance payments (on top of £5m assets plus a £400k sweetener) as far as I can see. This surprises me, or to put it another way I wouldn’t be in the last surprised if hubby was still going to be forking out a large sum each month until the last moppet had completed their education aged 27. I wonder if his pension will be apportioned.

  23. Jim,

    “Even more reason for men a) not to marry, and b) if you must, marry someone with a nice simple job. Forget career women entirely.”

    Marry a sweet, unsophisticated woman who loves dogs, kids, that you like to have sex with, and who doesn’t give a toss about social climbing. Take the Adam Smith advice about specialisation and put in a ton of hours at whatever you do, becoming a master at plumbing, software or marketing, while she takes the kids to ballet lessons and cooks an excellent dinner for when you get home.

    The thing about career couples is just how much extra gets blown on status shit. And I don’t mean having a good life. One of the modern wonders is how cheap the good, non-status life is. Aldi ribeye steak, reconditioned PCs, £150 Android phones, £300 TVs. You want the very slight improvement that OLED gives you or a shiny Apple logo, you quadruple the price. A reliable car costs less than £10K because almost any car under 150K miles is super reliable now. The new car smell and nice logo trebles the price.

  24. BoM4,
    You missed the big one: housing. That’s why so many families are dual-income these days. How much would you need to earn to be able to afford your present house at today’s prices?

  25. Bloke in North Dorset


    No she wasn’t in to that.

    He’s started using dating apps, from what he says I’m glad I’m no longer in he finding a mate game, it sounds brutal. It gets him the odd shag but he does prefer to have a woman for companionship. He was with a girlfriend before his ex for a good 10 years as well.

    We’ve run a business together, he’s a really good guy to have around, we all think his ex is off her head, but it seems she doesn’t like commitment. And he’s very well paid, holding quite a senior position in one of the MNOs.

  26. Bloke in North Dorset

    As for the open marriage route, that road only leads to madness. An old Army friend and his wife went down that route and when I bumped in to them 10 years later they were still together but had joined the God squad. They said they’d been through hell over it, despite what they both said when they started it the green-eyed monster was never far below the surface.

  27. I wonder what assets she brought (no sniggering at the back) to the marriage?

    2 * Breasts (various sizes are available), 1 * vagina (ditto). Everything else is an optional extra with prices to suit.

  28. Marry a sweet, unsophisticated woman who loves dogs, kids, that you like to have sex with,

    There’s a crucial comma in there.

  29. Andrew M,

    “You missed the big one: housing. That’s why so many families are dual-income these days. How much would you need to earn to be able to afford your present house at today’s prices?”

    Housing is a big cost, but you get a mortgage when you first meet and both are earning. You drive a beater, you holiday in France or Spain, you don’t eat out much, there’s plenty left over, enough to start taking a chunk out of the mortgage. You build your earnings and you do all the overtime and side hustles that you can.

    I can’t say this enough, though. The reason many people can’t afford housing is them. Freelance journalists living in London. Why? You can knock out the same shit from the Forest of Dean or rural Lincolnshire. Why do it in the most expensive place imaginable. People I know who could have moved to Birmingham rather than Oxford. Same earnings. So, they chose Oxford and struggled to buy an ex-council house in one of the less dreamy parts of the city rather than leafy Edgbaston. People who blow money travelling the world, buying Beemers,

  30. The ruling could have implications for other divorce cases in which one partner has stepped back from their career for the good of the family, a lawyer said.

    Is that not the point of alimony? That one partner has sacrificed career and money-making prospects to manage the home, allowing the other partner to go out and bring home the bacon – and so, when splitting, deserves a fair cut of that bacon?

    This really doesn’t sound new.

    And as for ‘didn’t have to go to work for 10 years’ – that really depends on how well-paid the husband was. For most people ‘housewife’ is a full-time job too.

  31. Shouldn’t the “compensation” for her career break be based on the counterfactual that he had the career break to look after the children – in which case he wouldn’t have the £10 million to share with her.

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