To realize the potential of bioinspired fibrillar adhesive applications ranging from biomedical devices to robotic grippers, there has been a significant effort to improve their adhesive strength and understanding of the underlying adhesion and detachment mechanisms. These efforts include changes to the backing layer, which connects the roots of all of the pillars in the fibrillar adhesive. However, previous approaches such as thickness or elastic modulus changes are selectively advantageous to the adhesive strength depending on the substrate condition because of the trade-off between conformity to misaligned/rough surfaces and increased interfacial stress concentrations. In this work, we explore mechanical divisions (cuts) in the backing layer as a new approach to improve the adhesive strength without this trade-off. We combine experiments and finite element analysis (FEA) to study the effect of the divisions, which decouples the mechanical interaction between the pillars on the divided layers, and show that the adhesive strength can be improved regardless of the substrate condition. Tensile adhesion experiments show increased adhesive strength with cuts to a micropost array (150 μm diameter posts) by approximately 25% for 4 divisions. In situ imaging of pillar detachment shows a transition of the detachment process from a peel-like detachment to a random detachment sequence. FEA simulations of the detachment process suggest that the increased strength may originate from a simultaneous enhancement of the load distribution between the pillars and the compliance of the backing layer.