Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Wives Have It

The long-awaited House of Lords judgment in the Miller and McFarlane appeals has been published today, amid a frenzy of media interest. In both cases the wives have been successful. However, whilst I have not yet had time to study the judgment, I was pleased to read that Lord Nicholls accepted Mr Miller's contention that both the judge and the Court of Appeal misdirected themselves on the 'conduct' issue - to have non-extreme conduct such as adultery dragged in to the arguments over financial issues would have been a disaster. Instead, his Lordship justified the award to Mrs Miller "largely for two reasons": the increase in the Mr Miller's wealth during the (short) marriage and the high standard of living enjoyed by the parties during the marriage, a standard Mrs Miller would have been unlikely to achieve for herself.

The judgment will no doubt spark much debate in the weeks and months to come.

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