Two divorcees won their divorce settlement appeals on the grounds their ex-husbands lied about their financial worth, in a landmark ruling by the Supreme Court in October 2015.
The outcome highlights the importance of total honesty throughout the divorce process, especially during disclosure when both spouses sign a financial statement confirming their income and assets before an agreement is reached on the division of finances.
The precedent set by these two cases has since prompted numerous other divorcees to appeal their divorce settlements as they believe they signed based on fraudulent financial details.
The two separate cases were heard by the Supreme Court at the same time, and involved divorcees Alison Sharland and Varsha Gohil who appealed their settlements after discovering post-divorce that their ex-husbands had lied about their true worth.
Alison Sharland signed a consent order in 2010 and accepted a settlement of £10 million together with 30 percent of the net proceeds from the sale of her husband Charles’ company, valued at the time at £47 million. However, it transpired the company was being prepared for sale at that time on the stock market with an estimated value of £600 million.
The settlement awarded Alison Sharland will now be reconsidered by the Family Court, as will the case of Varsha Gohil who appealed her settlement of £270,000 when her ex-husband was later found guilty of fraud and money laundering £37 million and admitted he had misled the court about his wealth during the divorce proceedings.
Why These Cases Matter
The Supreme Court ruled in favour of both divorcees on the grounds their ex-husbands had been dishonest during the disclosure process. This process sees both spouses sign a financial statement that outlines their full income and assets, and forms the basis on which the divorce settlement is made.
Previously, once this agreement had been made and approved by the Court as a consent order, no changes could be made. However, both these cases resulted in the consent orders being disregarded and re-examined in light of the fact the ex-husbands had misled both the Court and their then-wives about their financial worth.
A precedent has now been set which may lead to many more divorcees making an appeal against their divorce settlements if they feel their ex-spouse lied about their finances.
It’s advisable to seek legal advice if you believe your ex-spouse may have been dishonest during your divorce disclosure process. At Bartletts Solicitors, we know that every divorce is different and offer a free no-obligation consultation. We will help you investigate further, using our expert legal knowledge and close working relationships with professionals including forensic accountants.