Unless you have been lucky enough to escape this rather bleak February and have been living on a secluded desert island, it has been hard to miss the publicity of this recent controversial case – Mr and Mrs Mills.
Mr and Mrs Mills divorced back in 2002 at which time Mrs Mills received a lump sum payment of £230,000 (the majority of the matrimonial assets) as well as monthly maintenance payments from Mr Mills of £1,100. However, over the years, in an attempt to move up the property ladder, Mrs Mills made a catalogue of "unwise" property investments which resulted in largescale liabilities that she was unable to discharge.
Fast forward about 15 years and Mrs Mills is bringing her case before the Court of Appeal on the basis that she cannot meet even her basic financial needs. To cut a long story short, the Court of Appeal Judge ordered Mr Mills to increase spousal maintenance payments to £1,441 and ordered that such payments were to be paid for the rest of Mrs Mills’ life.
Here’s for the controversy… only recently have Judges been encouraging financial independence between divorcing parties as soon as possible, yet this recent case rather worryingly seems to be encouraging the opposite position. It goes to show that each case before the court, will be determined upon its own facts and what one Judge considers to be fair, another may not.
If you are considering a divorce and are concerned about your finances, drop me a line at simone@kleymansolicitors.com. Remember, you are much better off coming to an agreement with your soon to be ex-spouse to avoid running up costly legal fees battling it out in the court room for what could be an unpredictable outcome.