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(Court of Appeal, Richards, Tomlinson and Lewison LJJ, 21 October 2013)
The husband and wife were married for a short period and had two children aged 6 and 3 who remained living with the wife following the divorce. The husband had abandoned contact with the children. In financial remedy proceedings the wife was awarded three of the four matrimonial properties, a small lump sum payment and the husband was ordered to pay maintenance in respect of both children until the age of 17 or upon completion of full-time education. The wife had further sought a nominal spousal maintenance award on the basis that following her redundancy her earning capacity had diminished and due to the uncertainty involved in her job change she ought to have the opportunity at a later stage to increase the spousal maintenance award. The wife appealed.
The decision not to make a nominal spousal maintenance award could only be overturned if it had been plainly wrong. The judge had taken into consideration the wife's employment issues and her past and current earnings. On the basis that the judge had not failed to take any relevant matters into account the appeal would be dismissed.
The Red Book is the acknowledged authority on practice and procedure