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Mills v Mills

The Supreme Court’s decision published today in the case Mills v Mills will be a partial victory for Mr Mills as the Supreme Court overturned the Court of Appeal’s decision that he should pay higher monthly maintenance than previously to also cover Mrs Mill’s cost of renting a property when in 2002 she had received enough money to allow her to purchase a property mortgage free. Mrs Mills had made a series of poor financial decisions which left her renting and in debt. She had asked the Court to increase her maintenance to include her rent payments. The important point today is that the Supreme Court’s decision shows that if a person has made bad financial decisions after they have been given the capital to house themselves (or pay off a mortgage), and they then find themselves renting (or unable to pay the mortgage), they should not go looking to their ex-spouse to bail them out. What the Supreme Court refused to consider as Mr Mills has not been granted the right to appeal was how long the maintenance should continue for. The judge in the lower Court had decided that maintenance should continue on a joint lives basis as Mrs Mills had not the means “to adjust without undue hardship to the termination of those payments”. This is the test that the Courts have to apply under Section 31(7) of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (the Act which nearly all financial divorce decisions are made under).

For further advice and support, please contact Joanna Gardner (Family).

Added: 18 Jul 2018 12:24

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