Attempt to stop spousal maintenance payments defeated

family law gavel

A lawyer ex-husband sought permission to appeal an Order that he continue to pay maintenance to his former wife but permission was refused.

Background

  • The parties shared assets worth £1.2 million when they divorced in 2011 after 11 years of marriage.
  • Mrs Liddell received a £555,000 lump sum when the marriage broke down and she signed her share in a £800,000 house to her former husband, Mr Mickovski, who was also ordered to pay her spousal maintenance.
  • She used her lump sum to purchase a five bedroom property in Cambridgeshire near her job at the University.
  • Mrs Liddell moved from part-time to full-time working despite having “tiny children” to care for.

Mr Mickovski, applied to the Court to stop paying the monthly £723 spousal maintenance he was paying her on the basis that her wages had increased. The increase in her salary matched the maintenance he was paying and he argued that she no longer needed the maintenance and could adjust to its termination without undue hardship. 

Mr Mickovski argued that Mrs Liddell had been left in a financial position that exceeded her needs. However, it was found that Mrs Liddell still needed the maintenance payments because she was struggling to make ends meet. Her monthly outgoings exceeded her monthly income.

Decision

The judge in the first instance accepted that her new partner who lives with her made no financial contribution. He congratulated her on her strong work ethic and accepted that she was working as hard as she could and could earn no more.

He went on to Order that Mr Mickovski pay her the maintenance that was due for the next four years in one in a lump sum of £34,000 along with £3,543 towards Mrs Liddell’s legal costs (she represented herself in court). 

Mr Mickovski sought permission to appeal the order but permission was refused. He was ordered to pay the £34,000 within 2 months and to keep paying the £723 per month until the lump sum is paid. 

If you have issues regarding maintenance which you pay or which you receive, our Family team can help you.

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