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The 17 Year Divorce Battle – A Tale of Riches to Rags

A mining millionaire has been left with £5 after his divorce dragged on for 17 years.

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When David Mann divorced his wife in 1999 he said he would support her for life and agreed to a divorce settlement of £1.5m. However, in 2004, he was declared bankrupt. Now he claims to only have a fiver to his name and to have been living off the goodwill of friends and family.

Shelley Mann believed that her ex-husband had funds he was hiding in order not to pay her. Despite her claims that he is the part-owner of an expensive flat in London, she was unable to convince the judge. The judge said she was “not sure that the hidden wealth to which his ex-wife points actually exists”.

They once lived a luxurious lifestyle together in a £1.8m home with their daughters in Hampstead but now Ms Mann’s future is uncertain. The Telegraph reported that at one point after having sold the marital home, she and her two daughters faced eviction from their new place as their unpaid rent had built up to over £50,000.

Meanwhile, Mr Mann is currently fighting cancer and has had to apply for housing benefit. His rabbi wrote a letter to provide the court with evidence Mr Mann had turned to the Jewish community at his local synagogue for help and was living off hand-outs.

It has been ruled the ex-mining tycoon no longer has to pay off the remaining £625,000 or 17 years’ worth of interest. So, how did this millionaire end up living off charity?

Mr and Ms Mann were unable to settle their finances on divorce. Their divorce dispute lasted for 17 years and went to court making it an expensive process.

If you can come to an amicable divorce and use alternative dispute resolution methods, such as collaborative law or family mediation, it can avoid the need to go to court and help to keep the costs down.


For more information, see our Five Top Tips to Keep Your Divorce Costs Low.

Are you worried about your finances on separation? Call Slater and Gordon Lawyers on freephone 0800 916 9055 or contact us online to find out how we can help you.


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