Mills v Mills - Supreme Court Overruling
The Supreme court has overruled a court of appeal decision that the wife was entitled to a variation of her maintenance in order to cover rental payments. The original consent order made in 2002 provided the wife with maintenance payments as well as a capital award. In 2014 the husband applied to discharge or reduce the payments. He argued that she had mismanaged the capital award and was able to work more in order to increase her own income.
The wife sought an increase to the payments. The Judge ruled against a variation but on appeal the wife was successful. This has now been overturned and campaigners against indefinite maintenance orders are claiming a victory. The court have determined a narrow issue in relation to the wife’s financial management and it is important to note that the original order and maintenance payments ensuing will continue. The Supreme court has stressed that this decision is not aimed at ending maintenance orders for spouses. However, the decision follows recent trends in working towards achieving financial independence between spouses.
The case of Waggott v Waggott deals with an order for limited term maintenance and is believed to also be going to the Supreme Court. This will provide a further opportunity for guidance to be provided on a much wider point in this contentious and changing area of family law.
If you require any advice in relation to any issues raised in this article then please contact Sharon McKie Head of Family Department at Taylor Bracewell Solicitors on 01302 965814