Two ex-wives win right to have divorce settlements re-examined

The Supreme Court has ruled that two women  can have their divorce settlements re-examined after the court found their ex-husbands had hid assets at previous settlement hearings.

Two women, Alison Sharland and Varsha Gohil, have won the right to have their settlement agreements with their ex-husbands reexamined after the court found that both women had been deprived of their right to a fair hearing of their claims.

Sharland had accepted £10.35m from her ex-husband, Charles, three years ago. However, at time of the original settlement Charles’ lawyers valued his company, Appsense, at between £31m and 47m. However, since the settlement the company has been revalued at approximately £656m and Charles was considering floating the company; a fact which he had hidden at the time.

Gohil was awarded £270,000 a decade ago from her ex-husband Bhadresh, who as with Charles, had been insincere about his financal situation. Bhadresh has since been convicted of money laundering.

Speaking on the judgement Graham Coy of law firm Mundays said: “Preseverance wins out. Today’s judgment sets aside the financial agreements which was reached when both of Mrs Sharland and Mrs Gohil’s husbands misled the court about their true financial position. The cases will now be reopened and reconsidered.

“This is a victory for common sense and defeat for dishonesty – it just goes to show that if you don’t put all your cards on the table when divorcing it might come back to bite you further down the line. Importantly, today’s decision could open the floodgates for more people to try to renegotiate historic divorce settlements.”

Speaking after the hearing Gohil said: “I’m absolutely relieved by this judgement. I am relieved by the clarity and the decisions by the judges.

“There are absolutely no winners in divorce and more than a thought has to be given to the children of families locked in this type of litigation.

“The price they pay is a very heavy one. The emotional strain of it is huge on everyone, the drain in financial resources is enormous and none of it servies the family.”

Sharland said: “I am relieved and delighted that the supreme court judges have ruled in our favour. I hope that their decision sends out a message to everyone going through a divorce that they cannot lie in the family courts and get away with it.”

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Source: The Guardian

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