The ruling in the case of Thiry v Thiry [2014] EWHC has highlighted the severity of punishment that awaits those who fail to comply with the court’s stringent rules around disclosure of assets.

Mr Thiry was ordered to pay all of his ex wife’s legal costs amounting to £450,000 along with a £500,000 “fighting chest” in the event Mrs Thiry should be faced with any future litigation from her ex-husband.

Taken at face value this should have been an open and shut case, with both parties entering into a prenuptial agreement prior to marriage. Detailed within the agreement was a comprehensive breakdown of the assets each individual owned which they agreed would remain their’s during the marriage and in the unfortunate case of divorce. During the proceedings neither party contested the contents of the agreement. Typically in financial remedy proceedings the general rule is that both parties will foot the bill of their own legal costs.

However, Mr Thiry’s conduct during the divorce proceedings caused the judge to overlook this general rule after he failed to comply with numerous court directions. During the course of their marriage the Thiry’s entered into a number of complex financial arrangements which Mr Thiry omitted to mention during proceedings. Mr Thiry’s blatant disregard of the rules of financial disclosure led to the Judge to order him to pay all of his wife’s legal fees on the basis that “the self-inflicted extent that the husband’s conduct of the litigation has inflated the wife’s costs bill”.

Couples involved in divorce proceedings should be aware that where the court believes a party has purposely failed to disclose information in relation their financial circumstances it is well within the judge’s discretion to enforce harsh penalties such as the payment of the other parties legal costs.

For further advice regarding divorce settlements or the rules of financial disclosure please don’t hesitate to contact Farleys’ Family Law team, our experienced solicitors treat each case with the upmost sensitivity and discretion. To speak to specialist in divorce and separation call us on 0845 050 1958 or alternatively you can email us.