SELL YOUR CAR OR GO TO JAIL
Judge tells man who owes the mother of his child €5k in arrears...
A FATHER who failed to keep up payments for his own little girl has been told by a judge to sell his ‘expensive’ car or face jail.
The man spent an entire €18,000 personal injury award from a car crash in three months, including €10,000 on the car, the Family Law Court in Ennis heard.
He is now €5,350 in arrears in maintenance payments. Solicitor Ann Walsh, for the child’s mother, told the court that after examining the man’s bank statements she could see that the €18,000 was spent between April and June this year.
Ms Walsh said the weekly maintenance
payments are €50 and the man told the court that he is currently paying his weekly maintenance. After hearing of the car purchase, Judge Patrick Durcan told him: ‘You are going to get that car off the road or I will send you to jail. You have done nothing for the mother of your child.’ In response, the man said: ‘I have.’ Judge Durcan told him: ‘You haven’t. There are substantial arrears of maintenance here.’
The judge said that he wanted full details of the award.
He told the man: ‘You are facing jail. I am telling you that because in my view, €18,000 came in and you did nothing for the mother of your child.
‘You put a car under your own self. Do you understand the trouble you are in?’ he asked. In reply the man said: ‘I do, but I was buying stuff for my child as well.’ Judge Durcan said: ‘When you got the money, you put it into the bank and you bought a car. That car can be sold again, do you follow me?’
Judge Durcan told the father: ‘You better look after the car carefully and bring it to a good car valet man and have it polished.’
In response, the man said: ‘I need my car for work.’
In reply, Judge Durcan said: ‘Yes. You can get a different car, you don’t need a €10,000 model under you.
‘I want you to get a working model – I want to see this lady paid do you follow me?’ he added.
The man said that the accident in which he was awarded the money happened three years ago when the car in which he was a passenger overturned. He said he has recovered from his injuries. Judge Durcan advised the man to get a solicitor.
He said: ‘I am not happy that monies were lodged to your account, when they should have been lodged to the account for the benefit of the mother of your child.’
He added: ‘I am not happy that you went out and bought an expensive motor car when these monies could have been used to deal with arrears.’
Judge Durcan said that he was directing that all documentation concerning the civil claim from the man’s personal injury award be sent through to his ex-partner’s solicitor, Ms Walsh.
The judge said that he would adjourn the matter for two weeks when he expects all documents to be in court.
The judge said: ‘I do intend on moving this forward rapidly.’