Not necessarily, according the Court of Appeal in a recent decision. Mr Justice Moylan is reported as not agreeing that "need should be met at a level similar or comparable to the standard of living during the marriage," as the standard is only one factor.
The wife, Mrs MacFarlane is also reported as suggesting that she should receive compensation for giving up her career as a teacher, on the basis that she could have been earning £100,000 by now, and instead has only limited income. This was also reportedly rejected by the Court.
Fair or not? It is difficult to make a judgment without knowing all of the facts in the case, but in my opinion it does demonstrate how much discretion Judges have, and how uncertain family law can be when things go to Court. That is one of the reasons why mediation can often be preferable, if both people are able to take a reasonable approach and compromise. It can prevent a gamble of tens of thousands of pounds on the decision one Judge is going to make on one day.
Katriona MacFarlane claimed that she had not been awarded enough to buy a home similar to the £1million country cottage she shared with Dr James MacFarlane, 74. The 58-year-old also claimed she was owed compensation for “abandoning” her teaching career to be “looked after” by the millionaire. But a Court of Appeal judge on Monday rejected her claims and said the previous living standards of a couple were only a guide when it came to how much an ex-wife or husband deserves. Mr Justice Moylan said he did not agree that “need should be met at a level similar or comparable to the standard of living during the marriage”, as this standard was only one factor.