In a divorce case, it’s essential to know the facts before forming a view on the fairness of the court’s decision
I’m indebted to Kate Butler of Woolley & Co Solicitors for a clear analysis of the recent divorce case of Mr and Mrs Mills. The case has been widely reported in the media, and the decision (to increase maintenance payments 15 years after the divorce, when Mrs Mills had apparently been awarded all the capital in the first place) has attracted strong condemnation. On closer inspection however the decision is not quite what the headlines seem to suggest.
It’s quite common to misunderstand a case for lack of complete knowledge. The system in England and Wales is discretionary, and every case is decided on its unique facts. “My wife took every penny we had” should sometimes be “My wife had all the equity in the house but I got to keep all my pension” – it’s just that the pension gets left out of the story when it’s retold in the pub. Why spoil a good hard-luck story with the full facts?