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The importance of being open and honest in financial disclosure

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Two recent high-profile divorce claims have been brought back to court on the basis that the courts were misled previously about the true extent of the assets involved.

The cases in question relate to two wives seeking to re-open the financial aspects of their divorce proceedings on the basis that their former spouses’ deliberately concealed their true wealth during the original divorce proceedings.

Alison Sharland received £10million when she divorced from her former husband in 2010 after 17 years of marriage.

While she believed this to be about half of her husband’s fortune, Appsense, the company owned by her former spouse, was estimated to be worth close to £150million soon after the divorce was finalised. The financial press has even recently speculated Appsense to be worth up to £600million.

Alison Sharland brought further proceedings to ask the court to reconsider their divorce settlement on the basis that her former husband had deliberately misled the courts on the value of Appsense and that he had concealed plans to float the company.

The other case involved Varsha Gohil’s divorce from her husband in 2002. She received a £250,000 lump sum and a car.

Mr Gohil was found guilty of money laundering in 2010, with some estimating his worth around £50million, but Varsha Gohil’s appeal against the financial settlement was thrown out as the court was unable to use evidence from the criminal trial to prove that he had been dishonest about the true value of his assets during the divorce proceedings.

The cases highlight the importance of providing full disclosure of your financial circumstances during divorce proceedings as financial settlements can be reconsidered if it can be shown that the court was not aware of the true extent of the parties’ wealth during the original proceedings.

If you believe your former spouse concealed the value of their assets during divorce proceedings then it is vital that you seek specialist legal advice.

For more information on making a financial claim or to discuss any aspect of family law please contact Shena Baron on 01772 258321.


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