Yesterday’s judgment in the Paul McCartney – Heather Mills McCartney divorce has been released in full. Both the Guardian and the Independent have the full text online, and no doubt they are not alone.
There hasn’t yet been a divorce. Both parties have agreed to wait until after May 1, when they will have been separated for two years and can therefore base their divorce on the fact of separation rather than ‘unreasonable’ behaviour.
This judgment relates to the ancillary proceedings for maintenance pending divorce and for property arrangements. The English courts can decide themselves what is a fair division of property, guided by statute and precedent.
The husband’s case on financial provision for the wife is summarised at paragraph 9 of the opening note of Mr Mostyn QC as follows:
“We submit that fundamentally this is a straightforward case. Because of H’s enormous pre-marital wealth and because of the brief duration of this marriage W’s claim should be determined by reference to the principle of need alone. This is not a case where the principle of sharing of the “marital acquest” is engaged at all. Nor is it a case where the principle of compensation will arise. W’s needs fall to be fairly assessed, not predominantly by reference to the standard of living during the marriage. W’s award should be reduced to reflect her postseparation misconduct. That misconduct is based on three distinct episodes as explained in our Conduct Note.”
Heather Mills McCartney’s case was harder to summarize. She argued inter alia that she was wealthy when she met her future husband and gave up a lucrative career for his sake; he advised her against taking on job offers:
Countless lucrative business opportunities were made to me once Paul and I married. Sadly, Paul advised against 99% of all of them. He stated that they were only interested in me because of his name and that I should just stick to charity work and he would take car of me. When I was asked to design clothes, create a food line, write books, make a video, write music or do photography, Paul would almost always state something like “Oh no you can’t do that, Stella does that or Mary does that or Heather (his adopted daughter) used to do that or Linda did that.” even though I had been involved with fashion and modelling for years.
There is much more.
The Guardian reports that Mills confirmed to the press that she had poured a jug of water over Fiona Shackleton:
Mills also confirmed reports that she had poured water on Sir Paul’s lawyer, Fiona Shackleton. Mills said she approached the lawyer and said: “I’m not a loser” before tipping the water jug over her.
“I poured the whole jug of water on her head. I was very calm”, she said.