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Speech by Mr Justice Mostyn at the Devon and Somerset Law Society

|Speeches|Mr Justice Mostyn

Spousal Maintenance

Where did it come from, where is it now, and where is it going?

1. When the court decides to make an order for spousal maintenance we all know what the legal power for the award is: sec 23(1)(a) MCA 1973. But what is the legal basis for the exercise of the power? Put another way, what are the moral factors that guide the exercise of the power?

2. In his speech Changes over the centuries in the financial consequences of divorce (Address to the University of Bristol Law Club) on 20 March 2017 Lord Wilson set out the historical background. He engaged in deep legal archaeology and explained how the Victorian obsession with sex, guilt and fault were the main drivers in the formulation of the originating principles.

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