Spousal Maintenance Rulings
In a very sensible decision the Supreme Court (former House of Lords) has ruled that no increase in Maintenance is allowed to a Wife because her needs have gone up (as a result of her own financial mismanagement and fault). They have however left in place Maintenance at the existing rate without reviewing the original amount.
The history of the matter was that Mrs Mills was given enough money in the original divorce financial settlement to buy her own house without a mortgage. She decided not to do that and bought a bigger house with a mortgage and then got her affairs into a state and wanted more money off her former Husband to effectively compensate.
The Court took the view that she had mismanaged her own affairs and that in essence an ex husband will not be responsible for the Wife’s financial mistakes in capital terms.
Whilst that seems to be a victory for commonsense and existing case law regarding Capital only being considered once, not twice, it is also a victory probably for commonsense insofar as original Maintenance Assessments have been left in place unaltered and not been finished altogether. There was an ongoing Maintenance provision which had been worked out on income terms and which was left in place. That didn’t please the Husband but the logic of it was that even if he couldn’t be responsible for the Wife’s mistakes with her own Capital then he should still remain responsible for what had been adjudged a reasonable maintenance figure in the old hearing. That marked continuity in Income terms too.
In essence there is something here to please the Wife and something here to please the Husband. Generally however it seems an all round very sensible decision by the Supreme Court in controlling a wayward and ambitious Court of Appeal error.