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The mother who “sacrificed” her career wins landmark divorce case

16 March 2020

Sharon McKie

Women removing ring after divorce

The couple, who can’t be named, both live in London and are in their 40’s. Given that both parents are solicitors, it had proven to be very difficult with 2 children. The high demands led to the Cambridge graduate choosing to leave her legal career in order to take care of the children.

Following a decade long marriage, it broke down. In the divorce hearing, she claimed relationship-generated disadvantage, as the husband was still able to enjoy a “stellar” career.

The ruling resulted in the wife receiving £400,000 compensation as well as an equal share of the family assets, which accumulated to in the region of £10 million. 

The case could have implications for families in similar circumstances. Theoretically, families in which a spouse has had to take a step back in their career for the good of the family could seek to argue relationship-generated disadvantage in the future.

“Our client sacrificed a potentially lucrative career for her family and to care for the children,” said the lawyer who represented her. “Although Mr Justice Moor has made clear this decision should not open floodgates to a raft of relationship-generated disadvantage claims, the judgement affirms that in truly exceptional circumstances the principle of compensation still exists in family law, and rightly so”.

Are you going through a divorce or separation? Have you considered all of your options in relation to the division of your assets? For more information on divorce or separation or confidential advice, do not hesitate to contact our Head of Family - Sharon McKie on 01302 965814 or email her on