Family Law Expert Hopes For Clarity
An amputee’s appeal against a ruling that he should pass on some of his compensation to his ex-wife as part of a divorce settlement will be watched closely by many family law experts, a specialist at Irwin Mitchell has revealed.
Kevin Mansfield, 41, was told in a hearing last year that £285,000 of the £500,000 of damages he received after losing his leg in a road collision in 1992 should be given to his former partner as an asset related to the marriage.
However, the Daily Mail reports that he has now been given the green light to appeal the ruling, with his legal team arguing that the money is financial support that is vital to ensure his personal needs are met in the future.
Commenting on the issue, Peter Morris, a family law expert based at Irwin Mitchell’s Leeds office, said: “Any ruling made during the appeal is likely to have an impact beyond this case alone.
“This scenario highlights the complexities faced by couples when the court has to attempt to adequately address the competing financial claims of both of the spouses involved in a divorce.
“In this case, the court appears to have decided that the needs of the wife and the children of the family justified sharing the husband’s compensation, even though many would regard that as unfair because the damages were received before the marriage.
“The law is unclear in this area and the outcome of the appeal will hopefully give some useful guidance to couples faced with this issue in the future, hopefully preventing potentially costly and drawn-out debates on such matters in the courts.”