Started by poiuyt, Jul 30, 2011, 07:58 AM
Woman battling her amputee ex-husband for the lion's share of his £500,000 compensation has won the right to more than half his money in a landmark ruling.The Appeal Court declared that her needs and those of their children were more important than those of the disabled man.Lord Justice Thorpe ruled that the money Kevin Mansfield received in 1998 after losing a leg in a road smash - five years before he met his former wife Cathryn - ought to be 'available to all his family' and that the needs of his ex-wife and their four-year-old twins were 'primary' and outweighed his own.Landmark ruling: Amputee Kevin Mansfield lost his fight to stop his ex-wife Cathryn from claiming over half of his compensation after a judge ruled it to be an asset of their marriage.Mr Mansfield, 41, now faces having to sell his home, a specially adapted bungalow in Chelmsford, Essex - to meet the court's order that he pay £285,000 to 37-year-old Cathryn, so she can buy a new home for herself and their two children.But Lord Justice Thorpe left Mr Mansfield with a glimmer of hope by also ordering that £95,000 of the money must be paid back to him by his ex-wife if she remarries a partner who can support her, or in 14 years time, once their children have grown up.Mr Mansfield was still a student when he lost a leg and suffered serious spinal injuries when he was hit by a car in 1992. He met his ex-wife Cathryn five years after receiving £500,000 compensation in 1998. The couple split up in 2008, soon after having twins, Carys and Corben - now aged four - through IVF treatment. Mr Mansfield told the court that almost the whole of the family's wealth at the point of their divorce derived from his damages payout.At a divorce hearing in May last year, he heard a judge rule that his compensation should be regarded as an asset of the marriage and divided accordingly. He took his case to the Appeal Court, but Richard Todd QC, for Cathryn Mansfield, insisted it made no difference that his damages payout pre-dated his marriage. More...Mother who pocketed nearly £32k in disability hand-outs by claiming she was almost bed-ridden was caught shopping, driving and working as a nurse 'No part of a personal injury award is sacrosanct. No part of the award is ring fenced, not even that part awarded under the heads of pain, suffering and loss of amenity,' Mr Todd said. 'When he took on the responsibility of a wife, and they decided to have two children, he knew that the capital would have to be used for their benefit too.'The court would regard it as illogical that, whilst earnings should be taken into account and thus be fully available for the support of the family, a sum paid by way of compensation should be treated otherwise.'This is capital which replaces earnings which would otherwise form part of the marital acquest. The wife has suffered real relationship-generated disadvantage.'Turning to Mr Mansfield's request that some of the money should be returned to him by way of a charging order over his wife's new home, Mr Todd continued, 'The husband talks of a charging order. Such an order would leave the parties locked together contrary to the spirit of the clean break and would also make it impossible for the wife to meet her long term reasonable needs.'When confronted with competing needs, the court is required to give first consideration to the needs of the children. The court carefully weighed the competing needs of the parties. The need of the husband to be properly housed, fully taking into account his disabilities, was carefully measured against the wife's need to care for the children.' he said. Key decision: Lord Justice Thorpe said it would be 'unprincipled' for the court to interfere with the previous rulingThe QC added that the wife disputed that all the assets of the marriage came from her husband's damages award, claiming she had contributed £30,000 to buying the former marital home, plus the 'sweat of her brow' in carrying out a 'great long list' of DIY improvements to the house.Mr Mansfield, representing himself, told the court: 'I love the children, I think the world of them. I wouldn't be here today if I didn't care. There has been a lot of effort put into attacking me, but not a lot of due diligence. 'For me this chapter of my life should be closed. The insurance company did not just pay out the money to me on a whim.' Giving the court's judgment, Lord Justice Thorpe said: 'This appeal raises a single point of significance - the degree to which a judge in ancillary relief proceedings should reflect a substantial award for a personal injury claim. The husband received approximately half a million pounds in his personal injury claim in 1998 before he ever met the wife.'He added: 'I have been of a fluctuating mind during argument, but have come to the conclusion that the judge went into the conflicting needs of the parties with considerable care and found that £285,000 was the minimum needed to meet the needs of the wife and children.''£285,000 may be on the high side and it might be that the wife was fortunate to receive that quantification, but it would be unprincipled for this court to interfere.'The judge went on to impose a £95,000 charging order on Mrs Mansfield's new home, to be paid back either when the couple's children turn 18, or when they finish their first degree, or if she remarries a partner who can support her.In a statement outside court after the judgment, Mrs Mansfield said that she had brought the case for the sake of their children.'From first to last, this case was all about our wonderful twins and how they would be housed. I am so very glad that a very wise Court of Appeal has approved the orders made by the lower courts that I should have £285,000 for housing both them and me,' she said.Mr Todd added: 'The judge achieved what he wanted to achieve which was the security of the roof over the children's heads during their minority.'Commenting on the legal importance of the case, the barrister went on: 'This case is going to be of huge importance to many other cases in future involving divorce and personal injury. 'It will now become the authority for all such future cases and emphasises that personal injury is significant factor when looking at any damages in a divorce case .
But Lord Justice Thorpe left Mr Mansfield with a glimmer of hope by also ordering that £95,000 of the money must be paid back to him by his ex-wife if she remarries a partner who can support her ...
I there a name for describing what is happening to men in this society ?
I'm more & more grateful to my ex-wife for leaving two and a half years into our marriage, when we had practically nothing (apart from our daughter).
Quote from: neoteny on Jul 30, 2011, 10:11 AMI'm more & more grateful to my ex-wife for leaving two and a half years into our marriage, when we had practically nothing (apart from our daughter).I wish mine had ended the issues sooner!(is it too soon for those kinds of comments? )
Men's Rights Activist that is an awesome video!