A ruling in the Supreme Court this week that a divorced Husband should not have to increase payments to his ex-wife after she has mismanaged her finances, has led to commentary that this is an end to the idea of a “meal ticket for life”. The Supreme Court ruled in Mills v Mills that they place a greater expectation on the non-earning spouse to take responsibility for their finances after divorce where maintenance is paid. The wife in this matter had mismanaged her finances, after receiving periodical payments of £13,200 per annum and a significant lump sum.
The Supreme Court decision shows that there is no reason for the poor financial situation of the wife to lead to an increase in spousal maintenance.
In particular it was noted that it was consequently ‘unfair to expect the husband to meet her increased needs’ as a result of her poor investments.
This is signifying a growing trend in divorce to emphasise the need for clean break as much as possible and to limit when parties can return to Court if maintenance is payable.