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Why it’s important to be honest in divorce proceedings

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

accounting-931424_1280When a marriage breaks down and is headed for divorce, both parties are encouraged to be fair and honest with each other regarding their finances. This allows for the court to reach a settlement which is reasonable. There is a temptation for spouses to misdirect their partner and the courts over the value of their assets, but as two recent cases show this is rarely a good idea.

Sharland and Gohil

An example of the importance of being honest about your finances is the case of Sharland and Gohil. These two high-profile cases involved divorce claims which were brought back to court on the basis that finances were deliberately concealed and the court misled.

Alison Sharland, who received £10 million in her original settlement in 2010, believed that she was being paid out around half of her husband’s estate. However, soon after the divorce it became clear through the press that the company was worth much more, potentially as much as £600 million.

Sharland then petitioned the court to look again at the divorce settlement and consider that her ex-husband had misled the courts about the true value of his company, as well as plans to float it.

Similarly, Varsha Gohil divorced from her husband with a settlement of £250,000 and a car. However, her former spouse was later found guilty of money laundering with reports of wealth of as much as £50 million.

While both of these cases had their initial applications rejected, they won a Supreme Court appeal and are set to be reconsidered by the courts showing that the courts are intolerant of dishonesty in divorce proceedings.

While it may seem clever to conceal assets and use other trickery to hide the true value of your estate, there is a very real chance that you could be brought back in front of the courts at a later date, incurring more legal costs and making another settlement.

Here at Rollingsons we deliver comprehensive advice and solutions on asset protection. We work to ensure that full and frank disclosure is made and that assets are not sold or transferred to others without the other spouse’s knowledge. To arrange an initial consultation with a solicitor experienced in family law issues, please contact us or call 020 7611 4848.

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