Important reminder that Maintenance Orders can be varied

15 years after divorce and a sealed, binding Court Order, Mrs Mills makes an application to the Court for an increase in her spousal maintenance.  Mr Mills argued that at the time of the divorce, he had provided his Wife with £230,000 lump sum and £1,100 per month in spousal maintenance.  Unfortunately, due to poor decisions investment made by Mrs Mills and ill health, Mrs Mills found herself in debt and unable to meet her monthly outgoings.  Therefore, she made a further application to the Court for an increase on the monthly spousal maintenance that she received.

Sitting at London’s appeal Court, Lord Justice Longmore and Sir Ernest Ryder, heard the background to the case and how original division took place and also changes in Mrs Mills circumstances.  The Court found that the decisions made by Mrs Mills were poor and she was not a good business woman.  However, there was no suggestion that she had made a negligent decision.

Her maintenance paid £1,100 yet her monthly needs were £1,441.00.  The Court found that the Husband had the ability to make the increased maintenance payments, therefore, the maintenance Order was increased.

It is reminder to all that maintenance payments can be the subject of variation up and down.  It is therefore important to consider the triggers where maintenance Orders can be discharged, rather than there being a life long obligation to the payee.

At Forbes we have specialist teams who are able to assist with any family law queries. For further information please contact our Family team via email or phone 0800 689 1058. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.

Rubina Vohra

About Rubina Vohra

Rubina Vohra is a solicitor within the Family department at Forbes Solicitors. Rubina’s blogs cover her specialisms of all aspects of marriage breakups and separation with a heavier slant towards divorce, children and finances. Rubina also writes about changes in the law and report on topical/current high profile cases.

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