Headlines have been made in recent weeks following the Supreme Court’s consideration of two previously settled divorce cases in which both women claim the Courts were misled as to the full extent of their Husbands’ financial assets. Alison Sharland and Varsha Gohil are awaiting the outcome of their appeal against their settlements on the grounds that their former Husband’s failed to give full and frank disclosure of the assets acquired during their marriage, therefore resulting in lesser settlements than they claim they were entitled.
What distinguishes these cases from previous appeals is the deliberate trail of false evidence both men gave during the divorce proceedings, centring on a matter of justice and principle. A ruling in the women’s favour will have serious consequences for spouses who purposely attempt to manipulate the current system to aid their own financial gain.
One of the women, Alison Sharland, is contesting her £10.3million settlement on the basis that her former Husband, a software entrepreneur, purposely misled her and the Courts regarding the value of his Company, which was later revealed to be worth £620 million.
This case is a clear cut example of what the parties view to be a fair division of the assets following the breakdown of a relationship. Previously a High Court Judge concluded that although her former Husband had been dishonest, this would not automatically entitle her to a larger settlement. The final ruling of both cases is set to be delivered later this year.
Gohil, who was awarded £270,000 and a car in her divorce settlement, also maintains that her former spouse failed to disclose the true extent of his assets to the Courts.
Both cases have highlighted the need for stricter regulations to be introduced as wealthy spouses are said to be defying the current rules for their own gain. There is a call for harsher penalties to be introduced and enforced if the Family Court to dissuade spouses from being deliberately deceitful. Honesty is essential in any divorce proceedings, not just in ensuring the fair division of financial assets but also in minimising the need for expensive future appeals which needlessly drain both the Courts and spouses resources.
Here at Farleys our team of experienced family lawyers are able to assist with divorce and related financial cases of all levels of complexity, including both modest and high asset cases and those involving pensions or businesses. For further information please don’t hesitate to contact a member of our team on 0845 050 1958, alternatively please complete an online enquiry form.