From Ex-wife given £50,000-a-year maintenance for her three HORSES as part of £1.5m divorce deal (Daily Mail, 9/22/08):

A wife has been awarded £50,000 in maintenance for her horses as part of a £1.5m divorce package in a landmark case that could spark bitter disputes over pets.

The woman, who has not been named, was awarded the yearly sum after appeal judges agreed her three horses were a key part of her life.

They also ruled she should be given a lump sum of £900,000 from her ex-husband, a banker in the City, to allow her to buy a house with enough land for the animals.

Lawyers believe the case could break new ground in divorce cases with couples claiming maintenance for their pets as well as themselves and their children.

The talented rider’s annual package came to £80,000, including the £50,000 for her three animals which the court heard were almost a child substitute.

The couple, who live in Gloucestershire, had been married for 11 years but had no children after she lost a baby in 2001…

She had given up her part-time job in a financial company after they married while her husband carried on working in the City.

Come again? They didn’t even have any kids, and he’s still being hit like this!?

I do believe that alimony is appropriate under certain circumstances, such as when one parent has made substantial career sacrifices in order to be the primary caregiver for the couple’s children, and upon divorce their incomes are very unequal because of these sacrifices. What has this woman done that merits this lavish alimony? She didn’t give up anything to raise kids, had only worked part-time to begin with, and has apparently had most of a decade to do very little–no wage work and no childcare.

Perhaps the most outrageous line in the story is this:

Judge Segal said: ‘In any event, the wife does not want a 9-to-5 job, because this would not give her enough time with her horses…’

Let me get this straight–she shouldn’t have to work because she doesn’t want to?! She shouldn’t have to work because it wouldn’t give her enough time with her damn horses? And her ex-husband is expected to pay for all of this?! Wow…

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