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Surveyor wins Supreme Court cash fight with ex-wife

Graham Mills argued that Maria Mills was in a position to work to increase her earnings.

A surveyor whose marriage ended 16 years ago has won a Supreme Court money fight with his ex-wife.

Five Supreme Court justices analysed the dispute between Graham and Maria Mills at a hearing in London in June.

They ruled in Mr Mills’ favour on Wednesday.

The pair have already staged fights in a family court and in the Court of Appeal.

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Graham Mills arriving at the Supreme Court to hear the ruling (John Stillwell/PA)

Their dispute has centred on the size of maintenance payments Mrs Mills gets from Mr Mills.

Supreme Court justices focused on arguments about alimony paid to cover Mrs Mills’ rent.

Lady Hale, the Supreme Court President and most senior justice on the panel, has said the case raises a point of law of “some considerable importance”.

Judges have heard how the pair, who are in their 50s and have links to the London area, divorced in 2002 and agreed that Mrs Mills should get a lump sum plus monthly payments of £1,100.

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Maria Mills arrives at the UK Supreme Court (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Four years ago Mr Mills, a surveyor, returned to a family court and argued that the payments should be reduced.

He said Mrs Mills had lost the lump sum through “gross financial mismanagement” and argued she was in a position to work and increase her earnings.

Mrs Mills disagreed.

A family court judge ruled that nothing should change but Court of Appeal judges, who considered the case at a hearing in London in 2017, said Mrs Mills’ payments should rise by £341 to £1,441 a month.

Supreme Court judges overturned decisions made by Court of Appeal judges.

They said appeal judges had “erred”.

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