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Compensation in divorce - a thing of the future?

A potentially interesting development of the principle of "compensation" in divorce. Historically compensation has rarely been a feature, until recently it seems. 

In this case the wife had been a high-earner; losing her job in 2008 whilst on maternity leave. The parties had a second child in 2011, following which she devoted herself to caring for their children full time and supporting her husband's career path.

Upon divorce she sought compensation for "lost career prospects". Although courts have generally discouraged such claims, in this case the England & Wales Family Court awarded her 54% of the matrimonial assets (which totalled £13M), part of which included a "discrete compensation award" of £500,000.

This is the second recent case where a compensation claim for lost career prospects has succeeded. Although both instances have been described as "rare" and "truly exceptional" perhaps in future they will not be as rare a feature as they once were.

EWFC makes relationship-generated compensation award in favour of previously high-earning wife


family law