Court Takes The Right Approach In Cases Of Dishonesty And Failure To Disclose

The landmark cases decided today by the Supreme Court of Gohil –v Gohil and Sharland-v-Sharland has reinforced the Court’s view that failure to disclose and lying in divorce proceedings will not be tolerated.

Both Mrs Sharland and Mrs Gohil now have the opportunity to have their cases reheard by the court and the settlement which they have reached with their husbands set aside. In Gohil, the court accepted on appeal that there was material failure to disclose on the part of the husband in respect of the financial settlement order made in 2004 which therefore could have affected the outcome of the original settlement.

In Sharland, the court echoed the views in Gohil with Lady Hale giving the only Judgement but agreeing with the decision made by Lord Wilson in Gohil. In this case, the husband had failed to disclose that there was an Initial Public Offering in respect of the Software Business which he held substantial shares to. The company had been valued by both parties during the divorce proceedings but it was expected to be valued for a higher sum as part of the Initial Public Offering.

Although a consent order had been prepared, the decision of the Supreme court is that this order is not to be sealed and the matter be returned to the Family division of the High Court for further directions.

Macks Family Law deals with divorce and financial matters and our solicitors welcome the court’s decision.

Amanda Adeola says “It is important for there to be full and frank disclosure during negotiation of financial matters and when one party is being dishonest in order to frustrate the other party’s claims then that party should be held accountable for their actions. The court has taken the correct approach and I am sure family lawyers around the country will say the same. You cannot lie to the court and get away with it”.

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