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03

Jul

Spousal Maintenance should not be considered a mealticket for life

24 mills v mills divorce

Mills v Mills - Divorced but not done ...

Mills v Mills saw the Supreme Court uphold a decision of a First-Instance Judge by agreeing that the ex-wife should not have her spousal maintenance payments increased after 16 years of being divorced.

After 16 years of divorce, surely Mr Mills has met his responsibilities?

Mrs Mills received a lump sum of £230,000 on divorce, as well as spousal maintenance of £1,100 per month for their joint lives or until she remarried or a further order was made.

Many years later, Mrs Mills found herself struggling to meet her outgoings, largely due to mismanaging her own finances, incurring significant debts and making a series of unwise property purchases since she divorced Mr Mills in 2002. Mrs Mills found herself in a position of having to rent a property rather than living in a property she owned mortgage-free.

Mr Mills applied to court to cancel the spousal maintenance order and proposed to pay the wife a lump sum of £26,000. Alternatively, he proposed that spousal maintenance only continued for a fixed period of time and at a reduced rate. His ex-wife cross-applied to increase spousal maintenance. The Judge dismissed both applications so that the original spousal maintenance order was upheld.

Once married you can keep paying upkeep

However, Mrs Mills appealed to the Court of Appeal and they increased her spousal maintenance payments to £1,441 per month.

Mr Mills appealed to the Supreme Court who have now agreed that the maintenance payments should remain as they are – with no increases or decreases.