Man demands ‘bank of ex-husband must close’ after ex demanded more cash 16 years AFTER divorce becau…
A SURVEYOR who won a court battle against his ex-wife who wanted more cash off him 16 YEARS after they divorced has demanded “the bank of ex-husband be closed down”.
Graham Mills, 52, said he should not still have to fork out for his former spouse after she lost a £230,000 lump sum awarded to her in their 2002 divorce.
He told Sun Online: “The bank of ex-husband should be closed down as we have been separated for 18 years.”
He added: “I should not be picking up the tab any longer. I shouldn’t be a cash machine for life.”
The Supreme Court today ruled he should not be forced to pay increased maintenance after she had lost the lump sum and been left in debt due to a series of “unwise” property deals.
Judges heard how in the 2002 divorce the pair agreed Mrs Mills should get the £230.000 pot plus monthly payments of £1,100.
Four years ago Mr Mills returned to a family court and argued the payments should be reduced saying his ex-wife had lost her payout through “gross financial mismanagement”.
Mrs Mills made a cross-application arguing she was unable to meet her basic needs and the Court of Appeal agreed with her, awarding her increased maintenance payments of £1,441 a month.
Today’s judgement means the extra payments can now stop but Mr Mills must continue paying £1,100-a-month – something he insisted was wrong.
He told Sun Online: “I need to close the door on paying her anything and stop her coming back for more.”
He added: “It feels like a hollow victory today. I’m still paying £1,100 a month to a person who is completely capable of looking after herself, so it’s not over. I haven’t actually moved forward from where I was four years ago.
“In my view, it’s simply not right that I’m still paying for her after all this time.”
After buying a home in Weybridge, Surrey, in 2002, Mrs Mills admitted “unwisely” up-grading to a three-bedroom flat in Wimbledon in 2006 before moving to a two-bedroom apartment at a Victorian mansion block in Battersea a year later.
It meant the beautician fell into debt as she had “over-financed” and increased her mortgage liabilities on each home which left her unable to “meet her basic needs.” She is now in rented accomodation.
Mr Mills said: “She hasn’t made sensible financial choices. I don’t know what she spent the money on, but it’s a significant amount of money.”
Mr Mills, who has since remarried, told the Sun Online he was frustrated with the legal system which he described as a “lottery”.
He said: “I think marriage should be a good, stable place, particularly if you’ve got children. Where it falls down is the complexity behind divorce and the fact it’s a lottery and there’s no clear guidelines on what the outcome will be when you go into a divorce process.”
The surveyor said he didn’t harbour any ill-feeling towards his ex-wife but wanted to end their financial relationship for the sake of their 24-year-old son.
Mr Mills, who has spent more than £50,000 on legal fees, added: “I’m not sloshing about with cash…I have no control over her finances and all the while there’s a court order saying I have to pay her, she can come back at any time and ask for more.
“It means I can’t plan my financial future because for me it’s open ended. So I can’t plan my finances, I can’t plan my retirement because I’m waiting to see what happens.
“It’s not over because there’s money coming out my account every month. I want to get on with my life and I’m sure she wants to get on with her life and I don’t want our son to have this. No child wants to see Mum and Dad arguing.”
Discussing today’s ruling Mr Mills’ lawyer Beverley Morris said that while some were hailing the decision as a victory, Mr Mills was still paying a Joint Maintenance Order with no end in sight
She told the Sun Online: “We’re disappointed. For us it’s the big issue of taking responsibility.
“Mr Mills has always paid the maintenance, worked hard, made provisions. It’s a very hard lesson and doesn’t incentivise people to become self-sufficient which is the big message the courts should be sending out.”
In an interview with the Daily Mail last year Mrs Mills insisted she was “not a gold digger”’ saying: “I genuinely believe women get the rough end of the stick after divorce. They have to juggle working and bringing up the family.”
A lawyer representing Mrs Mills today said she was “feeling bruised”.
Joanne Wescott, of Osbornes Law, added: “Today’s decision does not bring about the end of spousal maintenance for the wife, unattractively described as a ‘meal ticket for life,’ far from it.”
She added: “Where Maria and Graham go from here is entirely dependent on them, either of them could ask to capitalise the maintenance payments.
“This means husband pay to the wife a lump sum to effectively buy a clean break and end monthly payments.
“Before running off to court to make any application they should certainly try and reach an agreement if possible.”
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