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April 12, 2017

Ex-wife’s investment decisions lead to increased maintenance payments 15 years post divorce

A wife who, through a series of poor investments, lost much of her divorce settlement of £230,000, has been awarded increased spousal maintenance.

Maria Mills was originally awarded £1,100 per month in spousal maintenance after the couple divorced 15 years ago. Following her unsuccessful business ventures, Ms Mills applied to Court to increase her payments as she was unable to ‘meet her basic needs’.

The Court of Appeal upheld the decision that her ex-husband must continue to support her for life and the payments were increased to £1,441.

The purpose of spousal maintenance is to achieve a fair outcome from divorce taking into account the principles of needs, compensation and sharing. It is not appropriate in every case.

Payments are in place for as long as the Court thinks fit. Generally, the Court promotes independence, and so the outcome of this unusual case suggests the maintenance was critical for Ms Mills’ welfare.

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