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Courts clamping down on so-called 'meal ticket' divorces

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Courts clamping down on so-called ‘meal ticket’ divorces

So-called ‘meal ticket’ divorces, which see rich wives rely on spousal maintenance pay-outs from their wealthy ex-husbands, could soon be a thing of the past, a new study has suggested.

According to a varied number of insiders and experts quizzed by The Telegraph, UK Courts are increasingly awarding less when it comes to spousal maintenance.

“Divorce lawyers say they have seen a marked increase in cases in which Family Courts agree maintenance only for a limited period rather than traditional indefinite settlements,” The Telegraph reported last week.

The news contradicts the commonly-held belief that partners who are out-of-work should be entitled to spousal maintenance payments – especially if they care for a large number of children.

One Judge reportedly stated that “divorcees with children over seven” should work for a living.

The study follows a landmark divorce case from last year, which saw the High Court rule in favour of a Mr Ian Malcolm Wright, a husband who fought to minimise the spousal maintenance he would pass on to his wife.

At first, Mr Wright was ordered to pay £75,000 a year in both maintenance and school fees, £33,200 of which was treated as ‘personal upkeep’.

Mr Wright had already lost half of his assets following the couples’ initial split, which saw ex-wife, 51-year-old Tracey Wright, awarded a £450,000 mortgage-free house in Suffolk.

But the disgruntled husband subsequently took his case to the High Court, where Judge Lynn Roberts ruled that his ex-spouse, Ms Wright ‘should find a job’.

Judge Lynn Roberts said: “The world of work has innumerable possibilities. Vast numbers of women with children just get on with it and Mrs Wright should have done as well”.