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22 JUN 2009

Divorcing wife awarded an extra £100,000 a year

Julia McFarlane, the wife involved in a ground-breaking divorce case in the House of Lords in 2006, when she was awarded £250,000 annual maintenance, has won a 40% increase in her maintenance payments.

The High Court ruling means that Mrs McFarlane, 49, who separated from her husband Kenneth in 2000, will share in her former husband's increased income, which has risen from £750,000 at the time of the divorce award to £1.1m after tax - her maintenance payments will now total £350,000. The award will be reviewed when he plans to retire in 2015.

Mrs McFarlane, a solicitor who worked for Freshfields when she gave up her career to become a full-time mother, and who was also granted capital award of about £3m for her contribution to her husband's career as a wife and mother of their three children, had originally returned to court earlier this year to seek increased maintenance for the children, but then also to increase her own payments.

This case reverses the more recent 'credit-crunch' tendency in which husbands apply to reduce their payments to ex-wives due to their income having dropped.

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