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15 October 2015
Whilst it might seem like the title statement is to over-state the obvious, the phrase has taken on added significance following on from the case of Sharland and Gohil. Both of these ex-wives discovered that their ex-husbands had been dishonest in disclosing the true value of their assets during the time that negotiations were taking place for their matrimonial settlement. The Supreme Court accepted that the ex-husbands had mislead Judges about how much they were worth and the ex-wives now have the right to have their settlements re-examined. Their claims will now go back to the High Court to be reassessed.
Dishonesty or fraud involving a failure to disclose financial assets are grounds for renegotiating any previously resolved disagreements and this was decided by a unanimous judgement by a Bench of seven Justices.
This ruling is likely to cause a number of concluded settlements to be reconsidered and re-examined and whilst the figures in these cases were above the average settlement, nonetheless the principle will apply where either party believes that a concluded agreement has been done so on the basis of incorrect information. The message is clear that if you lie in the Family Courts you are not going to get away with it. Lets hope this acts as a clear deterrent to those husbands or wives who are tempted to defraud their partners and produce more honest and frank negotiations.
For further details please see the BBC news article on this case
Divorce is a difficult time for everyone which is why you should always speak to a Family Law expert, so contact a member of our Family Law team to discuss how we can help.