17 Feb 2017
Mark Harper comments in the Financial Times as divorce settlements come under scrutiny
Divorce settlements are back under the spotlight following a recent Appeal Court ruling that an ex-wife should have her monthly maintenance payments increased by a third, 15 years after her divorce.
Judges ordered Maria Mills’ monthly payouts to be increased to £1,441 and told her ex-husband, Graham Mills, that he must support her for life, because she is “unable to meet her basic needs”.
Partner Mark Harper commented that the problem with divorce law in the UK is that it is out of date. Most judges in England tend to be too “paternalistic in their approach”, he said, typically awarding women maintenance payments that “extend years into the future”.
Mark went onto say: “The moral of this case is that it pays to terminate spousal maintenance whenever possible. Under current law, if a wife falls on hard times, the former husband paying spousal maintenance remains a form of insurance policy, assuming he has money to spare.
In other jurisdictions, it is the exception rather than the norm that women should be supported after divorce, and there is a presumption that women will work towards early self-sufficiency.”
Read the full Financial Times article here.