The press has done its usual job of mis-reporting this week in a premature fireworks spectacle in favour of the ex-wives club. Yes, there has been a decision to overturn two divorce settlements where two wealthy wives (the ex Mrs Gohil and Mrs Sharland) demonstrated that their two wealthier husbands had lied about the size of their financial assets in the original proceedings.

Yes, this is good, however it is NOT anything new to get fizzy about! It has been well established law for several decades (Livesey v Jenkins 1985 was relied upon by the Supreme Court in its judgment) that if you do not make an honest disclosure of your assets to the Divorce Court and thereby get a more favourable settlement than you otherwise would, that your ex has every right to set aside the Order on discovering your lies!

Let’s look at the facts:

  1. There is a duty (and always has been) to provide full and frank disclosure of your assets to your former beloved and to the Divorce Court.
  2. If you forget to mention an old bank account with a few measly quid in it, it does not matter because it would not have resulted in a different settlement anyway.
  3. It does not matter whether your settlement was agreed by way of a Consent Order or imposed after a hearing.
  4. If you fail to mention that you have a bank account with a significant balance in it or another property or indeed anything at all that has more than a nominal value, and your ex later finds out (and they tend to!), then you are “in stuck”. It means your celebratory rocket was premature because your ex can march you straight back to Court on making the discovery. The Court, as has always been the case, will then set aside the original financial settlement order and give your ex more!  You are also going to face a big costs bill for the pleasure – your ex’s and your own.
  5. This is not something that is only available to the super rich – it is standard practice for all solicitors and Divorce Courts.

So a word to the wise, if you want a financial settlement that is actually FINAL, be honest about what you have got or be prepared to lose more than you bargained for – the Courts do not appreciate being lied to and you are sitting on a keg that is likely to explode in your face.

For those who have discovered that their ex is even more of a duplicitous cheat than they already thought (and by the way Mrs Gohil’s ex is currently in prison on Money Laundering offences) – consult a Solicitor and get that settlement set aside for a fair deal instead.

For more information regarding divorce settlements or to speak to a matrimonial and family lawyer, contact Nicola Fraser at Gorvins Solicitors on 0161 930 5151. It’s also possible to fill in our online contact forms and we will be back in contact with you.

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