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Supreme Court victory for ex-wives over financial disclosure

The Supreme Court has this morning ruled in favour of two ex-wives who want their divorce settlements re-analysed on the basis that their husbands misled them about how much they were worth.

In the case of Sharland vs Sharland, the ex-wife accepted a settlement worth more than £10million three years ago, but a dispute arose over the value of a business. At the time of the divorce negotiations, this was put at between £31 and £47 million but the financial press then reported to be worth some £1 billion.

In the other case, Gohil vs Gohil, the wife again agreed a sum with her husband after beginning litigation, but subsequently thought she had been misled. Her husband was convicted of money laundering following their divorce.

The Supreme Court justices suggested that both women's claims would be given further consideration at the High Court. Lawyers are now suggesting the cases could raise questions of greater public importance, and could pave the way for many more people to try to renegotiate their divorce settlements.

Of Mrs Sharland’s case, justice Lady Hale said: "By the husband's fraud and the judge's order, she had been deprived of her right to a full and fair hearing of her claims. The case must therefore return to the Family Division (of the High Court) for further directions as to how her claim is to proceed."

Another justice, Lord Wilson, said Mr Gohil had a "duty" to make "full disclosure".

After the ruling, Mrs Sharland commented: "I hope that their decision sends out a message to everyone going through a divorce…My legal battle has never been about the money, it has always been a matter of principle. I entered into an agreement with my estranged husband thinking that it was a fair one."

Mrs Gohil said: "All spouses subject to deceit and deliberate financial skulduggery in a divorce owe a huge debt of gratitude to the tireless efforts of the legal team here today."

For information about divorce and financial disclosure, and to find out how we can help you gain a fair and accurate settlement, please contact Alistair Dobson at Lawson-West on 01858 445 480.

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