Honesty best policy in divorce and dissolution proceedings

dried rose_bThe Telegraph recently reported a divorce case where an agreed financial settlement reached between a husband and wife was set aside. In a rare move, the court decided that the wife had not been provided with the full details from her husband about his financial wealth and the deal reached should therefore be overturned. The case serves as an important reminder of the importance financial disclosure and honesty when dealing with a relationship breakdown.

At NGA we deal with divorces, dissolutions and other relationship breakdowns, working with couples in a range of family structures.  But whatever your family structure, this case shows how criticial it is to be honest in any court proceedings or private agreements, if your relationship has broken down.

It is a long standing principle in divorce and civil partnership dissolution cases that there must be full and frank disclosure of the parties’ financial circumstances. This is essential to reach a fair and appropriate settlement.  Where there has not been full and frank disclosure and this is later discovered, it may be possible for a spouse to apply retrospectively to court to set aside or vary the settlement. This is exactly what happened in this case. Whilst set aside applications are rare they have been granted in circumstances where there has been a failure to disclose the full financial picture.

In this case the husband and wife divorced in 2009 and reached a private settlement. The wife later discovered that her husband had not been truthful about the true extent of his assets with over a million pounds in investments not being declared. Notably, the wife did not have proper legal advice before agreeing to the settlement, and this highlights how having the right legal support from a solicitor can be invaluable in ensuring that any settlement is reasonable.The wife may now be awardedmore money but the full circumstances of the case will need to be considered first, causing delay and uncertainty.

If you are going through your own relationship breakdown and would like more information about how we can help please contact Richard Perrins at Richard@nataliegambleassociates.com contact us on 0844 357 1602 .There is more information about our services here.

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