Be full and frank or be warned!
On the 14th October 2015 The Supreme Court sent a very clear message to anyone who intends to hide or mislead the courts in family proceedings.
Landmark rulings were made in the cases of Sharland v Sharland and Gohil v Gohil.
Supreme Court justices were told in both cases that the former wives had reached agreements based on misleading information given by their former husbands.
In the case of Sharland the Husband failed to disclose the fact that his business was due to be floated on the stock market, which would have significantly increased its value. Parties relied on a value of between £31 million and £47 million. Mrs Sharland subsequently discovered via the financial press that the business was potentially worth £1 billion.
Mrs Gohil’s case appeared to concern a more modest financial pot and she initially accepted £270,000 and a car in her settlement.
The Supreme Court made it very clear yesterday that, if parties have not been entirely candid about their net worth, any terms agreed could potentially be reconsidered.
The judgement is being hailed as a landmark case. It confirms the right of a former spouse to challenge an earlier settlement if they can prove that their former partner had lied to the extent that a judge would have made a different order at the time of their settlement.
The law has spoken, be open and honest when disclosing your assets.