A Cambridge University lecturer has won a court battle against her lawyer ex-husband who claimed he should not have to pay her maintenance because she is too hardworking.Three judges have refused “belligerent, unhelpful and dictatorial” London solicitor Goran Mickovski’s bid to stop payments to his ex-wife, Kathleen Liddell.The former couple shared a £1.2m family fortune when they split in 2011 after 11 years of marriage.After they broke up, 40-year-old Mrs Liddell moved from part-time to full-time hours despite having “tiny children” to care for, saying she needed to work “as hard as she can” to “survive financially”. I understand and accept her decision to work full time… she is working as hard as she can and she can’t earn any moreJudge Markanza Cudby But Lady Justice Macur dismissed Mrs Mickovski’s challenge to Judge Cudby’s order, saying: “The wife says, ‘I need to work in order to survive financially’. She was struggling. Each month her outgoings exceeded her income.”That is why she needs maintenance going forward and why the judge made the findings that she did. The judge congratulated her for getting herself back to work full time with tiny children. “The judge found that the husband had not been accurate in his assertions… she accepted the evidence of the wife. We intend to refuse the husband permission to appeal.”Mr Mickovski was given two months to pay the £34,000 to his ex – who represented herself in court – along with £3,543 in legal costs.He must keep on paying her £723-a-month maintenance until he comes up with the £34,000 lump sum The former matrimonial home in Islington of Kathleen Liddell and Goran MickovskiCredit:Richard Gittins/Champion News Judge Cudby found last year that Mrs Liddell still needed the maintenance payments as she was struggling to make ends meet.”She receives no real financial contribution from her partner,” the judge said, adding: “I’m satisfied that she works hard… I understand and accept her decision to work full time… she is earning £53,000-a-year and I accept she is working as hard as she can and she can’t earn any more.”The judge also branded Mr Mickovski “belligerent, unhelpful and dictatorial” after hearing him give evidence.But his barrister, Stephen Lyon, told the Court of Appeal that Judge Cudby’s decision not to end the maintenance payments had left his ex more comfortable than she needed to be, when by now she should be financially “independent.””The increase in salaried income that she gained by going full-time matched the level of maintenance he was paying, therefore she no longer needed it,” he said.”There was no continuing need for financial support from the former husband at £723-a-month,” he told the judges.Mr Lyon insisted that Mrs Liddell was “in a position now to be independent of the husband and that she could immediately adjust without undue hardship to the immediate termination” of maintenance.The wife’s five-bedroom home “arguably exceeded her needs,” he argued, adding: “There was no consideration of need.””We say the judge gave no reasons for her decision and no analysis. The impression one gets from the judgment is that the judge is saying, ‘you’ve not convinced me you can’t afford it, so you can carry on paying’. That’s not the law, bluntly.” But her 43-year-old ex-husband later took her to court, asking Judge Markanza Cudby to stop the £723-a-month maintenance he had been paying her because his ex-wife’s wages had increased. However, Mrs Liddell was “congratulated” by the divorce judge for her strong work ethic.The judge went on to order her ex-husband to pay her the whole sum of the maintenance she was due for the next four years at once in a £34,000 lump sum.Two more judges at London’s Court of Appeal heard Mr Mickovski challenge that order, arguing that his ex-wife had been left in a financial position that “exceeded her needs”.Lady Justice Macur and Lady Justice Eleanor King heard that the former couple lived in an £800,000 home in Islington, north London, which made up the bulk of their £1.2m wealth.As well as the maintenance payments, Mrs Liddell received a £555,000 lump sum when the marriage broke down and, in return, signed her half of the house over to her ex, who still lives there.The academic used the money to buy a five-bedroom property in Cambridgeshire near her £53,000-a-year job at the University’s law faculty.She now shares the house with her new partner, a chartered accountant, while Mr Mickovski, who is also required to pay child support, has re-married a businesswoman working for British-American Tobacco. The case made its way to the Court of AppealCredit:NIKLAS HALLE’N/AFP Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.