Ex-wife's ground-breaking settlement

July 9, 2004

LONDON: A footballer's wife has won a historic divorce settlement which entitles her to more than $3 million of her former husband's future earnings.

Thousands of other wives might now be able to draw up to half of their ex-husbands' salaries for years to come.

Karen Parlour argued she played a vital role in building the career of her former husband, England and Arsenal player Ray Parlour, and deserved more than the "thoroughly mean" $300,000 a year he offered her. London's Court of Appeal agreed and awarded her more than $800,000 a year for the next four years.

It is the first time a court has made a maintenance award based not merely on an ex-wife's needs for housing, food and children's education, for instance, but on her wider entitlement.

Mrs Parlour argued she had played an important part in steering her husband away from the "laddish" drinking culture among footballers.

The case may now be used as a precedent by the wives of men deemed to have a high income.

Mrs Parlour, 33, who gave up her job as an optician's assistant after meeting her future husband, had already been given two homes and a $600,000 lump sum.

She said: "I'm over the moon. Now I and my family can get on with our lives."