Stark Warning for Divorcing Couples
Spouses who attempt to hide their true wealth when it comes to divorce proceedings have been given a stark warning by a landmark ruling. The decision allowed appeals by two women who said they were duped into accepting “unfair” settlements from their former husbands. This sets a strong precedent that should deter any spouse from ever making a false claim during a divorce.
The two women claimed their husbands had deliberately misled them and the court by providing false information as to the true extent of their wealth during the original hearings. Their lawyers had asked the Supreme Court to set aside the original divorce settlements as a matter of principle and justice, and the judges agreed to allow their appeal.
Now the existing settlements will be set aside and the cases will have to return to the Family Courts to be reviewed and re-assessed. This clearly opens the door to former spouses who may have already agreed settlements but who feel they may not be fair and that there may be cause to believe that someone has failed to be completely honest about their wealth.
It’s a stark warning that couples should always declare their assets and income at every stage of divorce proceedings, otherwise they could find the original decision overturned if more evidence comes to light. This is of particular relevance to the Directors and owners of companies, who may be tempted to try and shield certain aspects of their wealth from the glare of the court.
There will no doubt be implications for a huge number of divorce cases which may already have gone through the courts, and the Supreme Court’s decision really is a clear indication that dishonesty won’t be tolerated.
Naturally, this case has led to concern that the decision will open the floodgates to overturn divorce proceedings by greedy ex-spouses.
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