The ex-wife of a successful mining broker is facing homelessness because, she claims, he has ceased paying the rent on her home.
David and Shelley Mann divorced in 1999. In the couples’ financial settlement, Mrs Mann was awarded the former matrimonial home in Hampstead as well as substantial maintenance payments. However, she alleges that he failed to maintain mortgage payments on the home and in 2004 she was forced to sell the property and moved into rented home, the first elsewhere in Hampstead and later in Belgravia.
The couple have continued to argue about money since then, the Mail reports. According to Mrs Mann’s barrister, her former husband stopped paying the rent on her current home last year and she is now £50,000 in arrears. Eviction proceedings are underway, the paper reports.
Irregular maintenance payments from her ex-husband mean she is unable to find a new home to rent, the barrister claimed, and she would not be eligible for housing benefit if she lost her home.
Mrs Mann insists that her former spouse promised to maintain her for life and still owes her £2 million from their settlement, while he says he counters that he has run out of money after developing cancer.
The couple has two daughters, now aged 20 and 21, who live with their mother.
Mr Mann’s counsel told the court that he had not successfully brokered a mining deal since last year and he could not afford to continue paying his wife’s rent. He now lived in a Housing Association flat and was in poor health, he added. This “ancient divorce” should not still be an issue, the barrister argued.
At the Court of Appeal, Lord Justice McFarlane said the couple’s financial disputes could be damaging their relationships with their daughters.
“I don’t know, but I strongly suspect, what the state of affairs is in the relationship between the husband and the wife. But what of the relationship between him and his daughters?”
Irregular payments by the husband to the wife had contributed to the wife’s predicament, the Judge concluded.
“There is clearly a pressing need to try to save the housing of Mrs Mann and her daughters, because of the lack of options open to them.”
According to the report, Mrs Mann now plans to take enforcement action against her former husband.