Friday, 27 January 2012

Honesty Is The Best Policy

An unusual case has recently been heard by the Court of Appeal. In this case the husband failed to disclose his true financial position before a financial settlement was agreed with his wife.

Mr Hutchings and Mrs Hutchings-Whelan had been married for 20 years prior to their divorce and they agreed a financial settlement in 2004. The wife was to receive a lump sum of £176,000 in return for transferring her interest in the matrimonial home to her husband.

The wife subsequently became aware that her former husband was very “flush with money”. It transpired that a property he had owned at the time the financial settlement was agreed, but which he had not disclosed, had been sold for £1.3 million.

The wife applied to court to increase her lump sum on the basis of her former husband’s failure to give full financial disclosure. In 2010 she succeeded in having her lump sum increased by a further £384,000. The husband appealed against this decision, but his appeal failed.

Disclosure is a vital part of the financial process during divorce. This case should be a reminder to both husbands and wives to cooperate and give full financial disclosure, as the consequences of not doing so can clearly be significant. You should ensure that your financial position is disclosed appropriately when you divorce and that you obtain proper advice about disclosure from a family law solicitor.

For more advice on divorce follow our family law blog or follow us on Twitter @Divorce_experts.

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