Divorce and financial settlement cases could set important precedent

2nd June 2015 by

The Supreme Court is due to hear the divorce and financial settlement claims of two women who say that their husbands lied about their respective financial situations in order to reduce the size of divorce payouts.

If the women’s respective allegations prove to be true, their ex-husbands succeeded in hiding assets on a truly astonishing scale. For example, one of the claimants, a mother-of-three, accepted a divorce and financial settlement of £270,000 but now says she has discovered that her husband concealed assets worth £35million.

The other claimant was awarded £10.3million, which, although it might sound like a lot of money, is dwarfed by the £620 million valuation of her former husband’s company; at the time of accepting the award she thought its value represented around half of all his assets. The husband conceded that the evidence he’d given to the courts had been “seriously misleading”.

Lower level courts have already ruled that the men were dishonest; however, as they did not order any further payment, it is now up to the Supreme Court to set a new precedent.

The family lawyer representing the women said that the Supreme Court has an “opportunity to provide much-needed guidance on whether non-disclosure invalidates a divorce agreement. At the moment, it appears not to – but we hope that ultimately justice will be done.’

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