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    The importance of full disclosure in divorce cases

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    The outcome of the recent High Court case between Scot and Michelle Young has highlighted the necessity for full disclosure of financial circumstances in cases where divorcing couples are deciding how to divide their assets.

    Scot Young was imprisoned due to his failure to provide the financial information and documentation requested by the court, after Michelle Young alleged that her husband owned assets worth many millions of pounds which he had not disclosed. At the conclusion of the bitterly contested proceedings between Mr and Mrs Young, the court eventually found that Mr Young had assets worth £40 million and ordered him to pay £20 million to his wife.

    When advising our clients on the fair division of their assets, we must first see evidence of their spouse’s financial position.

    This is achieved by requesting bank statements, pension valuations, P60s and payslips, details of properties owned, savings and investments and a schedule of their outgoings. In most cases, this information will be made available by the spouse or by their solicitor.

    If this information is not made available to us, then we must discuss with our client the need to issue court proceedings. If the information is not provided to the court by the deadline set then the spouse could be found to be in contempt of court.

    The Young vs Young case, although relatively unusual due to the high value of the assets involved, demonstrates that it is crucially important to provide a full and accurate account of your financial circumstances during divorce proceedings.

    If you would like to discuss this or any other family law matter, please contact Janine Hutson on 01772 258321, or at janine.hutson@harrison-drury.com


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