A man has called the family justice system “outmoded and dangerous” after a judge ruled he should continue paying his former wife maintenance payments more than ten years on.
Graham Mills, 50, split with his wife Maria in 2002. He was ordered to pay a £230,000 lump sum to purchase a house for her and their young son, and pay monthly £1,000 maintenance payments.
Mr Mills later remarried in 2014 and had another child, after which he applied to the courts to have those payments stopped.
But despite his former wife being able to work and their son now at working age, the judge ordered Mr Mills to continue paying.
And in a swift turn of events, the ex-wife then took Mr Mills to the High Court looking to increase the payments.
She told the High Court she had made “poor financial decisions” and had spent all her money through a run of “unwise” property purchases.
Her representation said Maria was “unable to meet her basic needs”.
The judge agreed and increased her payments by more than a third to £1,441 per month.
Mr Mills told the Evening Standard: “I feel like I am paying for her mismanagement of finances. I’m angry and frustrated the system allows this to happen.”
Mr Mills now says he is ready to take the case to the Supreme Court, but not before raising the £50,000 administration fee required. He has asked the public for help through an online fundraising campaign.
“I’ve been through some dark times. I felt angry, frustrated and confused, and really struggled with my motivation. But I simply cannot lie down and accept this ruling. Too much is at stake. Forget about me; this is for every person who’s been shafted in the divorce courts,” he said.
“There are thousands of people supporting my view and they all feel it is morally wrong and unfair.
“How can it be right that I am still tied to this woman? She is perfectly capable of supporting herself, and there should be a desire for people to move towards independence. But this ruling does completely the opposite: this makes her dependent.”