Published: 9th June 2015
The number of divorcees appealing to the Supreme Court and seeking new financial settlements due to their ex-partners providing misleading information is on the rise.
Two women in particular, both represented by a National law firm, are challenging their court orders as they believe they were misled into accepting settlements that were unfair, due to their ex-husbands providing inaccurate information about their wealth and assets.
They are both appealing to the Supreme Court for justice as they believe that their ex-husbands had deliberately withheld important information from the original hearing in order to reduce the amount they would receive.
The opportunity to appeal after new information has come to light is usually only reserved for those with access to larger funds, however the two women in question are hoping to raise awareness of the issue as it effects a much larger number of people seeking justice for more modest settlements, but who are no less important.
Hiding assets during divorce proceedings is becoming more common, with new stories appearing in the media almost every week.
We reported in a previous blog that an ex-banker turned bishop had been found guilty of hiding large sums of money in offshore accounts by a judge who had been analysing the settlement in the family court.
It is common for high-net-worth individuals and business owners to be paid through complex financial structures as a way of lowering their personal tax, which makes it easy to hide money from their partners through the use of offshore accounts in exotic locations such as Mauritius, the Cayman Islands and Panama.
Others choose to hide their wealth through the purchase of other items such as antiques, high-value pieces of art, expensive rugs, ancient coins, property and commercial land.
As part of the divorce process, both partners are required to complete the 'Form E', which is used for the disclosure of financial information and can include company accounts and tax returns, bank and mortgage statements and the valuation of assets such as properties, pensions and other personal items, which is then submitted to the solicitor of the ex-partner.
If the ex-partners solicitor believes that any of the paperwork is incorrect or missing, they have the right to apply for the judge to investigate further, which can lead to further punishments if found guilty of deliberately withholding important financial information.
It is illegal to hide assets or finances during divorce proceedings and doing so can lead to further punishment including paying out substantially more to your ex-partner then originally agreed, as well as further fines and even imprisonment.
If you are thinking about divorce or separation and you are concerned about your partners financial situation then K J Smith Solicitors are here to help.
Our experienced team of family law experts have dealt with a wide range of issues when it comes to finances and divorce, so we can advise you on the best course of action to take.
If you wish to discuss your circumstances to see how we can assist you, contact us today for a free 45 minute consultation on 01491 630000 (Henley on Thames), 020 7070 0330 (London), 0118 418 1000 (Reading), 01753 325000 (Windsor) or 01256 584000 (Basingstoke) or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
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