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News & Articles

Osborne Morris & Morgan > News and Articles > Family > Supreme Court to rule on unfair divorce settlement

Supreme Court to rule on unfair divorce settlement

Posted on 21 Mar 2016, in Family

A case has been brought before the Supreme Court in London that may affect divorce settlements in Bedfordshire and across the United Kingdom. Two women have claimed that the settlements of their divorce were unfair after they discovered that their ex-husbands failed to disclose information regarding their financial situations. This will be the first time in decades that the Supreme Court has ruled on this matter, and its ruling will guide decisions made by the lower courts.

The lawyer representing the women has presented this case as being about principles and justice and believes there should be legal recourse when a partner avoids full financial disclosure during a divorce. Courts often approve an equal division of the family assets, but this has meant that there can be a substantial advantage to a party who has concealed important financial information.

Both the women bringing this case have been before the Court of Appeal who rejected their requests to have their divorce settlements renegotiated. In one of the cases, the ex-wife received a £10 million settlement after her husband lied about plans for a public sale of shares in his company which was subsequently valued at £600 million. The true net worth of the other woman’s former husband was revealed during his criminal trial for money laundering, but she was told that this evidence could not be used to revisit her divorce settlement.

Currently, even if a partner has been dishonest regarding their finances, a court will not allow a divorce settlement to be set aside unless the non-disclosure is deemed to have been substantial. The separation of high net worth couples may involve the unravelling of intricate personal and business financial vehicles. A solicitor knowledgeable in the process of complex asset division may be able to offer clients confidence that they will achieve the appropriate financial settlement.


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