The couple divorced over 15 years ago, back in 2002. Maria Mills received £230,000 (this was nearly all of the couple’s “liquid capital” at the time), while Graham Mills kept his business. Maria Mills then reportedly made some “unwise” investments, which ultimately resulted in her being left “without any of the capital”.
In 2017, the Court of Appeal told Graham Mills that he must support Maria Mills for life and increase the monthly payments to Maria Mills from £1,100 to £1,441.
Whilst at first glance this case does seem a little unfair, there is more going on when we dig little deeper. Maria Mills, for example, reportedly has health problems which had impacted upon her ability to work.
Additionally, it was mentioned that the money she had been left with was not enough to buy a house that she thought would be “good enough” for herself and their child.
Graham Mills, on the other hand, had kept the business, which could provide him with an income.
What was also interesting about this case, is that it was Graham Mills who had gone to the courts to try and stop the maintenance payments he was making to Maria Mills, not the other way around.
Back in August 2017, Graham Mills was given permission to appeal to the Supreme Court. Mr. Mills started a crowdfunding page to pay the costs of this, where he argued that the court decision against him had set a “dangerous precedent” and had “set maintenance awards back 20 years”.
Two months ago, Mr. Mills announced that he had raised “sufficient funds” to pay the “high court fees”.
The Court of Appeal’s decision in this case caused (and is still causing) much controversy.
Up until this point, it had seemed that there was much more of a trend towards shorter term, temporary maintenance orders. Indeed, back in 2015, a case hit the headlines when a judge told the ex-wife of a millionaire to find work.
There is no doubt that the outcome of Graham Mills’ appeal will be watched very closely, by those both inside and outside of the legal profession.
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