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Dishonesty And Non-Disclosure In Divorce Cases

When couples decide to initiate divorce proceedings, emotions can run high and spouses naturally want to protect themselves financially for the future – however, financial disclosure is not only important but a legal court requirement in all divorce cases.

What Is Financial Disclosure?

Financial disclosure is the obligation on both spouses to provide full and honest details of their financial circumstances, including income, property, assets and pensions, to each other and to the court.

This means individuals cannot hide recent transactions, such as an inheritance or family gift, or any financial events that may happen in the near future, such as the sale of a business venture, or knowingly not provide the full financial facts to previous partners and the court in a bid to secure a better financial divorce settlement.

What Happens If You Think Your Ex Is Not Declaring All Their Finances?

Divorces can be bitterly contested and sometimes allegations of non-disclosure are made, and even of fraud, against spouses who have disclosed incomes and assets less than anticipated. In cases like these, proving your suspicions can be difficult as obtaining the evidence needed for the court is not always possible.

Supreme Court Guidance For Non-Disclose

In October 2015, the Supreme Court ruled in two family cases, Sharland v Sharland and Gohil v Gohil, that the husband in each case had deliberately withheld financial information which impacted on the divorce settlement. The existing Court Orders were put aside and the cases re-opened as a result of this ruling.

There is generally a zero-tolerance approach from Judges for non-disclosure in divorce cases, which means even if you’re unable at the time of your divorce to prove your spouse is withholding information or lying about their financial situation, you may be able to take action at a later date by asking the court to re-open your case if you find new evidence.

There can be grounds for re-negotiating settlements if the court finds the Court Order was based upon dishonest or non-disclosure at the time of the divorce – and the onus is then on the accused to show that non-disclose would not have made a difference to the settlement.

We Can Help You Through Your Divorce

If you’re going through a divorce and think your ex-spouse is not declaring all their finances, or you’re unhappy with your Court Order, our divorce lawyers are here to help. We have extensive experience of helping clients achieve the best possible outcome, including a fair financial settlement.

For legal advice and guidance regarding your divorce, please contact Bartletts Solicitors on freephone 0800 988 3674 or email advice@bartletts.co.uk

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