Man ‘rubbing ex-wife’s nose in it’ by driving new car, judge says

Family Law Court told businessman owes woman €22,563 in maintenance payments

A businessman who has fallen behind on maintenance payments to his ex-wife is rubbing the woman’s nose in it by driving around in a new car, a judge has said. Image: iStock.

A businessman who has fallen behind on maintenance payments to his ex-wife is rubbing the woman’s nose in it by driving around in a new car, a judge has said. Image: iStock.

 

A businessman who has fallen behind on maintenance payments to his ex-wife is rubbing the woman’s nose in it by driving around in a new car, a judge has said.

The woman had summonsed the man to the Family Law Court in Ennis over his being €22,523 in arrears in payments to her from a divorce settlement, under which she should receive €369 a week.

William Cahir, solicitor for the businessman, said his client has liabilities of €3million and that after paying off the bank and Revenue, there is no money left for his ex-wife. The man has 10 properties but the income from them was being used to pay down debt, he said.

The woman told the court she was “sick and tired of hearing this. It is going on for 20 years. It is the same every time we go into court.” She said her ex-husband was driving around in a new car and going on holidays.

Mr Cahir said the car was not his client’s but belongs to the business he works for.

‘Sackcloth’

Judge Patrick Durcan said: “If this man is indebted to the extent to his former wife that the records show, then it is rubbing it in the nose of his ex-wife that he is driving around in a new car.

“A little bit of ‘sackcloth and ashes’ is sometimes appropriate. I don’t accept the limited version of events I have received in this case.”

Judge Durcan warned that if reasonable proposals are not put before the court for a substantial reduction in the arrears later this month, the court could consider imprisonment.

Mr Cahir said the man’s former business was taken over by the bank and sold on. Its shareholders are his relatives and the company accountant. The businessman has no beneficial interest in the business and only works for it as an employee, the court heard. The man said his weekly wage from the business was €488 and that he works “six or seven days a week”.

Mr Cahir said the business was halfway through a restructuring process with a bank.

Judge Durcan said his only concern was seeing the liability to the woman discharged. “You might be a bad businessman, you might by a good businessman. I am not casting any judgements on that but I do expect you to be a straight one.”

The man replied: “I am being straight.”

The case was adjourned to September 21st.