Non-material disclosure in divorce.

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As recent as last month it was reported in the media, and so many of you will be aware, of the cases of Varsha Gohil and Alison Sharland. These two ex-wives won their long battle in the Supreme Court on 15 October 2015, and we now await the knock on effect the final Judgment will have.

Both cases mentioned redefine the law as well as clarify the procedure in divorce related financial cases where one spouse alleges that the other hasn’t fully disclosed details of the true extent of their fortune.  Both ladies claimed that their husbands had lied about the true extent of their wealth during divorce and financial proceedings some years earlier, and it was found by the Supreme Court that they had both indeed been mislead.

As such, and after a long and arduous battle, Mrs Gohil and Mrs Sharland were successful and Judgment was made by 7 Supreme Court Justices, who stated that each ex-wife was allowed to content their previous financial settlements.

The decision made re-defines this area of law, as previously, once a financial settlement had been made and approved by the court, it would stand.  This may, in time, open the floodgates to thousands of ex-husbands and wives who feel that they were cheated out of monies that they were entitled to in a financial settlement arising from their divorce.

The court have given a clear guide to practitioners regarding how and where any applications should be made in order to set aside, or remove, a financial order for what is known as ‘non material disclosure’. The Family Procedure Rules are to be amended to reflect the same.

The duty of each party to disclose details of ALL assets in financial proceedings is paramount.  This cannot be avoided, even by agreement, and the message to everyone is that dishonesty does have serious consequences.

If you need advice in relation to divorce or financial matters which have arisen from the same, contact us at Freeman Jones Solicitors on 01244 506 444.  We offer all clients an initial FREE 30 minute no-obligation consultation to discuss matters, arrange yours now with one of our family lawyers.

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Author Colin Freeman View Profile
Colin qualified as a solicitor in 1998. He specialises predominantly in family law, litigation / dispute resolution, wills, probate and settlement agreements and has notable cases reported in the Court of Appeal and High Court.
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