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Man Files Appeal Over Terms Of Divorce Settlement

AN EX-HUSBAND has filed an appeal against the terms of his divorce settlement, claiming Chief Justice Sir Michael Barnett should have recused himself from the case. Garth Bethel is claiming that the property adjustment order delivered by Sir Michael on May 20, 2010 following the end of his seven-year marriage to Veronica Bethel, should be "vacated". Mr Bethel is asking that he be granted half the value of the matrimonial and non-matrimonial assets, in particular the West Bay Street Home and 12 condos. According to his notice of appeal, Mr Bethel only received $75,000 on an estate which should be "grossly valued in around, or in excess of $10,000,000". Mr Bethel lists among his grounds for appeal that the chief justice "erred in law and principle by causing bias or the appearance of bias to be unavoidable" - because he failed to disclose prior to the hearing that he knew the parties concerned. In the notice of appeal, it is claimed Sir Michael attended Mr Bethel's ex-wife's mothers funeral five days before the hearing and was a guest in their home during their marriage. Mr Bethel is also alleging that his ex-wife, her parents, sister, brother and attorney, have all personally known the chief justice for years, as they attend the same church. It said: "The details above were disclosed by the learned chief justice after judgment upon inquiry. "The learned chief justice should have disclosed these facts to all parties prior to hearing the application." Among the other grounds for appeal listed, Mr Bethel is alleging that the chief justice made a mistake in describing the property in question as non-matrimonial property. He claims they lived in the home while married, yet the assets were not equitably divided, as they should have been according to law. Mr Bethel also claims that while the home belonged to his ex-wife before their marriage, he made at least some contribution in the form of mortgage payments, and that while he did not contribute to the building of the condos, which the Notice of Appeal says increased the value of the property, they were his idea in the first place. Mr Bethel is also appealing to the court to take into consideration the parties' conduct during their marriage and reasons for the divorce.

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